Zvezda shipyard, an engineering conglomerate in Russia’s Primorye Territory, has opened a facility for Aframax series tankers with a dead weight tonnage (cargo plus weight of fuel, oil and other necessary load) between 80K and 120K, widely used around the world for oil transportation.
Head of state-owned oil giant Rosneft Igor Sechin attended the launch ceremony, representing the project’s customer.
“The beginning of this kind of heavy-tonnage vessels production is not just evidence of growth of the Russian shipbuilding industry’s technological, industrial, and personnel potential. It is also a question of national security and independence,” he said.
Acting Governor of Primorye Oleg Kozhemyako also took part in the ceremony.
The flagship Aframax tanker is to be launched as early as in 2020. Overall, the shipyard plans to build 12 such vessels, as well as a number of multifunctional ice-class supply ships and Arctic shuttle tankers.
“Rosneft has set an ambitious goal of building a powerful shipbuilding infrastructure that will promote the Arctic development and expansion to other regions,” said Dmitry Alexandrov, an analyst at BCS Investment Company. “Such investments in the future are vital for Russian energy companies.”