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MOSCOW, May 19 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia will be building up the production of unique sea-going ships for the development of off-shore deposits and ice convoys, the deputy director of the shipbuilding industry and marine technology department at the Industry and Trade Ministry, Andrei Kurasov, told a news conference this week on the eve of the 3rd international forum Marine Industry of Russia, opening in Moscow on May 23.
“Russia has the knowledge and skills to build such ships and drilling rigs. We can take this niche in the international market of marine technologies,” Kurasov said. “Up to 20 percent of deposits of hydrocarbons are under our coastal seas, and Russia’s sea border is 46,000 kilometers long.”
“Naturally, the development of these resources depends heavily on the development of the national ship-building industry,” Kurasov said. He also recalled that shipbuilding in Russia also had a military component and the task of providing ships for off-shore development was one of the most important ones and must have a civil vector.”
Kurasov said that the national ship-building industry had 170 major enterprises and hundreds of sub-contractors. A number of these enterprises in the civilian sector were being modernized in order to be able to match modern requirements.
“This is happening to shipyards in Russia’s northwest. A project is being developed for a new shipyard on Ketli island, (Kronstandt),” the trade ministry official said.
He believes that the “Russian shipbuilding industry showed growth even in the period of the international financial crisis.”
“The growth is continuing these days, too. We launch 50 new ships a year, and in the future their production will be growing,” he said.
The program drawn up until 2020 provides for building 1,400 sea-going ships. Kurasov believes that by 2020 the Russian merchant marine and fishing fleet will undergo fundamental renewal.
At present 2,500 ships fly the Russian flag.