New ice-breakers for the Arctic

The State company Rosmorport is holding a competitive tender for construction of an ice-breaker at a price of 260 million USD. The bidders are United Shipbuilding Corporation, Baltiysky Zavod and Nordic Yard shipyards.

The winner may get a contract for construction of 2 more similar vessels, BarentsObserver reports.

Next week Rosmorport will finish considering applications from the bidders to construct a diesel-electric ice-breaker, Kommersant reports. Last time such a competition was held in 2004, when the FSUE ordered 2 vessels at once. In the end both of them were built by Baltiysky Zavod. This was the first order from the State to construct an ice-breaker fleet since the breakup of the USSR.

The maximum price of the vessel is declared to be on the level of 260 million USD. The ice-breaker is going to have the power of 25 MW and it has to be built within minimum 3 and maximum 4 years.

The results for the competition will have to be drawn by Rosmorport by the end of December. The winner will most probably become a preferred contractor for the construction of two more similar ice-breakers. However, the Russian shipyards often delay deliveries, thus increasing the price for construction.

Main competitors
According to Rosmorport applications for the tender have been received from Baltiysky Zavod (Baltzavod), United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) represented by Admiralty Shipyards and Nordic Yards.

There is also an application from not so well-known Maritime LTD, but they have not provided most of the documentation, and according to Kommersant they will hardly be participating.

Until now the actual monopolist in the construction of ice-breakers in Russia has been Baltzavod, which in addition to 2 diesel-electric vessels also constructed the nuclear ice-breaker “50 years of Victory” for the State. Theoretically the shipyard is also a front-runner in the present tender as well. In any way, as the market players say, Baltzavod is “obviously trying to dump”, offering the lowest price for the vessel (223 mill USD).

However, the State-owned OSC has been declaring many times, that construction of Arctic vessels should become its strategic focus, and this market should give up to 50% of the Corporation’s revenue. So the participation in the Rosmorport’s competition is a sort of test for the Corporation. Admiralty Shipyards have already built Arctic-class vessels, although not ice-breakers but double acting tankers which can go through ice up to one and a half meters thick without ice-breakers. But the application from OSC is the most expensive (260 million USD), and the construction period is maximum at that – more than 4 years.

Nordic Yards has several times talked about its interest to construct supply vessels for the shelf development. The company has experience, it has constructed 7 double acting tankers of the Arctic-class Arc7 (the highest is Arc8) for Norilsk Nickel. Besides, Nordic Yards is going to build the ice-breaker within 3 years, but at a higher price - 248 million USD.