Russia Boosts Arctic Icebreaker Fleet


Russian companies are building a fleet of five LK-60 icebreakers to keep waters open for the quickly growing Russian Arctic shipping, Port News reported.

A fourth and fifth vessel of the powerful LK60 class (project 22220) are needed for support of vessels shuttling to the major coal project in Taymyr and the Payakha oil field in the Yenisey river delta, Atomflot leader Vyacheslav Rukhsha said in a conference last week.

The vessels come in addition to the three similar ships that already are under construction at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg.

The two additional vessels will help secure round-the-year shipments on the Northern Sea Route for the next 25-30 years, Ruksha made clear.

The statement comes after Rosatomflot’s deputy director Mustafa Kashka in the recent Murmansk Business Week confirmed that a final decision on the vessels would be taken “in the course of 2018.” According to Kashka, the investments needed for their construction will be provided thanks to long-term contracts with the mineral extracting companies.

Russia’s nuclear egency Rosatom said the two powerful ships will cost $1.5 billion, of which around $700 million will be provided by the federal budget, $150 million by Rosatom itself and the remaining finances by loans.

The LK-60Ya class is a Russian class of nuclear-powered icebreakers formerly known as Project 22220. Once they enter in service the ships of the class will be the largest and most powerful icebreakers ever constructed.