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Dmitry Rogozin, investors to discuss future of Zvezda supershipyard

August 19, 2013, 2:31 UTC+3
The executives of Rosneft, Gazprom, NOVATEK, and Sovcomflot have been invited to the conference
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Photo ITAR-TASS/ofAlexandra Mudrats

Photo ITAR-TASS/ofAlexandra Mudrats

VLADIVOSTOK, August 19 (Itar-Tass) - Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin will hold a conference on the development of shipbuilding in the Far Eastern District in the city of Bolshoi Kamen, Primorsky Territory, on Monday. The Vice-Premier will meet, in particular, with major investors to discuss the future of the Zvezda (star) supershipyard. The executives of Rosneft, Gazprom, NOVATEK, and Sovcomflot have been invited to the conference.

Rogozin intends to get two plans from investors. The plans must be "superimposed" on each other. "The first plan consists of a time-table of decision making on the construction of gas carriers,p roduction platforms, and the accession of the first ships, boats and marine technology. The other plan deals, actully speaking, with the preparedness of the industry proper to organize the first plan," he explained.

Rogozin told Itar-Tass that he had already met with Rosneft chief Igor Sechin one-on-one and that they had achieved a "constructive mutual understanding" both on matters concerning the financing of construction and on the placing of orders with the Zvezda.

Originally the shipyard construction was to become a key project of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC). The Zvezda is to build "superships" with a deadweight of up to 250,000 tonnes and up to 300 metres long. The shipyard was established in 2009 and, according to plan, in the foreseeable future it was to turn out the first ships of ice-breaking class and gas carriers for the shelf projects of Rosneft and Gazprom. However, the construction of the enterprise fell behind schedule, with which Rogozin strongly reproched the USC way back at the beginning of this year.

Experts estimate the overall cost of the construction of the Zvezda at approximately 100,000 million roubles. However, according to the State programme for shipbuilding, money was to be earmarked only beginning from 2016-2017 (about 27,000 million roubles). In May, Rogozin upheld bringing forward a timeframe for State financing of the Zvezds to 2014. However, difficulties with financing of the project are persisting.

Experts believe that the Zvezda together with Shiprepairing Plant 82 may be actually removed from the USC's control and be transferred to a separate shelf project. Up to 80 percent of the shares of the shipbuilding center may be placed with Rosneft and Gazprombank. The USC will provide all infrastructure, Rosneft will guarantee the placing of orders, and Gazprombank will finance the consruction. Nevertheless Rogozin's opinion is that a transfer of the Zvezda to such big Russian investors as as Rosneft or Gazprom is reasonable "provided the USC retains a certain blocking stake".

Foreign participation in the project is not ruled out either. Earlier, at a session of the Military Industrial Commission, Rogozin remarked that at the end of September he intended to visit South Korea to meet with local shipbuilders and discuss prospects for their participation in the construction of the Zvezda or a transfer of some technologies.

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