Keel of new nuclear icebreaker laid at Baltic plant

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The first three Project 22220 nuclear icebreakers fitting out. File picture by Baltic shipyards.
The first three Project 22220 nuclear icebreakers fitting out. File picture by Baltic shipyards.

MOSCOW — The keel for the third Project 22220 nuclear icebreaker Yakutia was laid on May 26 2020 at the Baltic Shipyard (a part of United Shipbuilding Corporation, USC). The icebreaker is commissioned by FSUE Atomflot (subsidiary of Rosatom State Atomiс Energy Corporation).

The keel-laying ceremony for the third serial nuclear icebreaker of Project 22220 was held at the “A” slipway on the anniversary of the Baltic Shipyard and shortly before the St. Petersburg foundation day.

As tradition demands, a storm board was installed on the bottom section of the vessel, the honorable right to fasten it was granted to Vyacheslav Ruksha, deputy director general of the Northern Sea Route Directorate for the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, Andrey Fedotov, permanent representative of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) to the President of the Russian Federation, Eduard Batanov, vice governor St. Petersburg and director for the department of civil shipbuilding USC and to Igor Shakalo, chairman of the board of directors for the Baltic Shipyard.

The heads of Atomflot, division of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping and Baltic Shipyard signed the act on keel laying. The keel laying ceremony was held in an abridged format due to the complicated epidemiological situation.

On the occasion of the ceremony, Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said: “Today we started the construction of the third serial universal icebreaker Yakutia. This is the fourth icebreaker of the project following the Arctic, Siberia and Ural. On the completion of the series construction, Russia will have the world's largest fleet of serial nuclear icebreakers. These are truly unique vessels, not a single country in the world has even one of them.

“The engines of these ships are two nuclear reactors with a capacity of 175 MW each, which provide 7 years of autonomous navigation. The design of the icebreaker allows it to be used both in deep sea shipping along the Northern Sea Route and in the shallow areas of the Yenisei river and the Gulf of Ob, both in ice and in clear water. Each of the icebreakers is an embodiment of a modern, technological and competitive domestic industry.”

Ruksha opened the keel-laying ceremony for the new icebreaker and congratulated the workers of the Baltic Shipyard and all the enterprises involved in the construction. He emphasized that Project 22220 nuclear icebreakers are essential for the development of the Northern Sea Route. “The construction of the icebreakers within the project confirms Russia's undoubted leadership in the peaceful development of the Arctic.”

“The keel-laying for the third serial nuclear-powered icebreaker is a landmark event for all enterprises related to the Arctic,” said Mustafa Kashka, general director of Atomflot. “Despite the pandemic and tough economic conditions, we continue to build icebreakers within the Project 22220.

“This indicates the promising future of the nuclear icebreaker fleet. Universal nuclear-powered icebreakers will allow us to take an important step toward unlocking the transport potential of the Northern Sea Route.”

In his closing remarks Baltic Shipyard’s Director General Alexei Kadilov thanked the сontracting authority for the trust and emphasized that the plant would do their utmost to successfully administer contractual obligations. Kadilov made an honorable mention of other enterprises that will build nuclear-powered icebreakers of Project 22220 in cooperation with the Baltic Shipyard.

The contract for two additional Project 22220 nuclear-powered icebreakers construction was concluded between the Baltic Shipyard and State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom in August 2019. The contract value is amounted to 100 billion rubles.

According to the contract with Rosatomflot, the Baltic Shipyard will build, in total, five nuclear-powered icebreakers: the leading nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika, the first serial icebreaker Sibir, the second serial icebreaker Ural, the third serial icebreaker Yakutia and the fourth serial icebreaker. — SG


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