Russia orders six new icebreakers

The nuclear powered icebreaker Sovietsky Soyuz.
The Russian nuclear powered icebreaker Sovyetski Soyuz at port in Murmansk.

In the course of the next six months, we will decide where to build our six new icebreakers, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov says.


Speaking at this week’s meeting in the Maritime Board in Naryan-Mar, Arctic Russia, Ivanov confirmed that the Russian Finance Ministry already has approved the costs for six new icebreakers. Three of the new vessels are to be nuclear powered, the others will have diesel engines, he said.

The Deputy Premier commissioned the state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation with the task of finding the best suited shipyards for the construction. The shipbuilding corporation includes a number of Russia’s biggest and best yards, including the Sevmash and Zvezdochka yards in Severodvinsk.

Ivanov did not exclude that the corporation would have to turn towards yards and expertise in Finland to accomplish the job, reports.

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According to the news agency, Ivanov believes goods turnover at the Northern Sea Route could reach five million tons in the course of 2012. The new icebreakers are needed for the follow-up of the quickly expanding Arctic shipping.

The Russian Transport Ministry is reportedly in the process of elaborating a new legislative bill, which will include shipping tariffs on the NSR, as well as the services provided to ships operating the route.

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Russia currently has six nuclear-powered icebreakers, all of them stationed at the Atomflot base in Murmansk. They are operated by Rosatomflot, a unit under the Russian nuclear power corporation Rosatom.