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ASTRAKHAN, August 10. /TASS/. The Lotos shipyard in Astrakhan in south Russia will hold a ceremony on August 15 to lay out the first passenger liner in the post-Soviet time for cruises in the Caspian Sea, the regional ministry of industry, transport and natural resources told TASS on Wednesday.
"Preparations are currently under way for the event. The cruise liner’s keel laying is scheduled to take place on Monday, August 15. It is expected that the ceremony will be broadcast live from Astrakhan to Volgograd," the ministry said, adding that the vessel’s keel laying was timed to coincide with a session of the State Council on the development of Russian internal waterways that would be held in Volgograd.
It was earlier reported that two cruise liners were expected to be built at the Lotos shipyard in Astrakhan and the Krasnoye Sormovo shipbuilding facility in Nizhny Novgorod in the Volga area.
The construction of a four-deck liner with a length of 141 meters, a width of 16.5 meters and a capacity of 300 passengers will cost about 2.5 billion rubles ($38.5 million) and is expected to be recouped in 15 to 25 years.
The construction of the first such cruise liner is expected to be completed in 2019. The vessel was ordered by the Moscow River Shipping Company.
The Astrakhan-based shipyard Lotos is part of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation and is among the largest enterprises in south Russia.
In late December, the shipyard was granted the status of a resident in the Astrakhan special economic zone for industrial production facilities.
The Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard, also part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, is the oldest shipbuilding facility in Russia founded in 1849. The shipyard builds ships under state defense contracts and also merchant ships.