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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Russia continues the expansion of the Arctic region: launched the largest icebreaker

Thursday on the opening day of the St. Petersburg economic forum in the Northern capital on the Baltic shipyard was launched the new, the world’s largest Russian icebreaker Arktika, built by order of Rosatom. Speaking at the launching ceremony, the head of Rosatom Sergey Kiriyenko said that in 2018 the Arctic” will start the export of liquefied natural gas project “Yamal LNG”. The company has already signed contracts to export 18 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas”.

photo: youtube.com

Icebreaker “Arktika” is a ship with a displacement of 33.5 thousand tons, with a length of more than 173 m and a width of 34 m. According to experts, its construction, which lasted 4 years, cost the customer about 40 billion rubles.

Icebreakers of this class in Russia in the coming years will be built two more. In 2019, the year at the Baltic shipyard promise to launch another similar ship “Siberia”, and in 2020 — icebreaker “Ural”. Their construction is expected to be spent over 84 billion.

However, according to experts, these amounts are fully justified to “Arctic industrialization” of the country, which recently announced Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, left not only a beautiful slogan.

As told in an interview to “MK” the Deputy Director General of Krylov state scientific center research Institute, which conducts fundamental research in the field of Arctic technology), head of the Arctic engineering center, doctor of technical Sciences, Professor Oleg Timofeev, “icebreaker is a very expensive thing, which in commercial terms would never be repaid, that is why private icebreakers in the world. All the icebreakers and the United States, and Canada belong to the coast guard. We have icebreaker fleet owned by two state-owned companies: “Rosmorport”, subordinate to the Ministry of transport, it owns diesel-powered icebreakers and auxiliary fleet, as well as the “Rosatomflot”, which is part of the state Corporation “Rosatom” – in her possession all nuclear-powered icebreakers, whose main task is ensuring the transportation needs of the country and the safety of navigation in ice”.

Our expert explained why icebreakers are so important to the development of the country:

– Swimming in the ice along the Northern sea route — the shortest, cheapest and safest way of cargo delivery from Europe to Asia — in ice there are no waves, no storms. For the entire operation of the Northern sea route, starting from the ship “Chelyuskin”, it killed only 8 ships. And not a single person. The last boat, which sank in the Northern sea route because of ice effect, — “Nina Sagaydak” in 1983. And when he was sinking, people just came down the ladder on the ice and waited for the helicopter. If to consider that annually in the world dies of about 700 vessels, of which 200 large — tonnage over 10,000 tons, the Northern sea route is one of the safest.

Today there are two concepts of navigation in ice. One icebreaker, the second — basedomain when the transport vessel itself performs the functions of an icebreaker. However, in this case it must be very powerful, heavy and large. But then another problem arises — the serious increase operating costs, as once the ship is selected from the ice to clean water, immediately raises the problem of its excessive power, large mass housing…

The calculation here is simple: the route from Europe to Asia across our North is 7200 miles. Of these, the Northern sea route from the Kara Strait to the Providence Bay — 3600 miles. That is, in the ice the ship is only half way. It turns out that the other half of the way the use of such commercial vessel is absolutely unprofitable. That is why Russia gives priority to icebreaker concept of navigation.

Moreover is taken into account and the fact that the nuclear-powered icebreaker, despite the fact that the building it is more expensive to operate, oddly enough, cheaper than diesel. Diesel, if running at full capacity, require a day about 50-100 tons of fuel. Therefore constantly there is a problem of delivery. In Arctic conditions, it is poorly soluble. Nuclear icebreaker on average requires recharging nuclear fuel only once in seven years, which is economically much more profitable.

Russia in the field of redocorate has always occupied a leading position in the world, having vast experience in the development of the Arctic. We have, for example, is still afloat, the icebreaker “Krasin”, which was built in 1913 at the shipyard in Glasgow. Now is the icebreaker Museum. Or the first civilian ship with a nuclear power plant, familiar to many for the picture in the old Soviet ABC — book- the atomic icebreaker Lenin, launched in 1957. Today, his reactor is muted, and it is laid up in Murmansk.

Now, after a lull in the development of the Arctic resources due to the difficult period of the 90-ies, Russia has again been championed their rights in the development of Arctic resources, and where a fight emerges between such countries as USA, Canada, Denmark (Greenland) and Norway. And Russia in this list still occupies leading positions, including in the field of redocorate.

For example, experts of the U.S. Congress in 2014 conducted a study counting which country has the largest existing icebreaker fleet. Russia was in the list of countries on the first row – 34 operated icebreaker, 4 in construction and 9 in the design. Next came Norway: 7 icebreakers. Canada and the United States was listed in the list below.

Launching a new icebreaker “Arctic” Russia secures its leadership position in the development of the Arctic and the Northern sea route. From Europe to Asia is possible, however, to get still through the Suez canal, but because of the dimensions there is not any ship can hold. There is another way around Africa and the Cape of Good Hope. But that is 17 thousand miles.

And the Northern sea route — 7200 miles — only 15 day path. But to take this path requires powerful icebreakers. Moreover, even more powerful than those being built currently.

– Our icebreakers type “Arktika”, “Yamal”, “50 years of Victory” left in the ice channel width of 30-32 meters, – says our expert, doctor of technical Sciences, Professor Oleg Timofeev, and for large tankers, container ships need 42-45 metres. We have these icebreakers yet. Now the icebreaker is designed with a width of 47.6 meters, with a capacity of about 120 megawatts. However, to build it or not — to solve to the state.

Watch the video on “world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker launched”

The largest and most powerful nuclear icebreaker in the world “Arctic” was launched from the slipway on the water in St. Petersburg. This colossal ship is a Russian production can run without refueling for up to seven years, paving the way for ice thickness up to 2.9 meters.

Video published on the website youtube.com user Alexander Putin

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