Russia expects "Icebreaker pause"

Russia expects "Icebreaker pause" - this is said to the correspondent of the Information Agency "Morvesti.Ru" by Vladimir Arutyunyan, Head of Fleet Operations of the FSUE “Atomflot”. "By the 2030 - 2035 year is expected serious complication of ice conditions in the Arctic zone. It is associated with the cyclical nature of climate change - reported the representative of the "Rosatomflot". - The need for icebreakers will increase, but we have only four of them. This is the newest in a series of "Arctic", "50 Years of Victory", which was put into operation in 2007, and three icebreakers of the LK-60 project, the construction of which is now beginning. However, this quantity is quite insufficient to maintain normal shipping in the Arctic basin. Serious icebreaking forces will only be required to serve Arctic projects of Russian raw materials companies such as NOVATEK and Gazpromneft, which begin the development of the January and Novoportovskoye fields. At our current partners will go all the icebreaking capacity and for transit along the Northern Sea Route icebreakers can simply do not stay ".

"The use of diesel-electric icebreakers does not solve the problem, they are unable to compete with the nuclear-powered ships, - the expert continued. - Although the nuclear icebreaker is much more expensive at construction, its operation costs twice cheaper. But the main thing is a unique autonomy. With diesel icebreakers on such a long route as the Northern Sea Route, will inevitably encounter difficulties with maintenance and bunkering."

But the situation may be even worse, because today there are serious difficulties in financing the construction of three new icebreakers. "Agreed that starting from 2015 the funding of the construction of the first LK-60 will be implemented through public-private partnership. But the cost of an icebreaker is about 1 billion dollars, no one private owner can afford it. With two other icebreakers the situation is even more complicated, because the budget for their construction is provided by very modest means, about one-fifth of the total amount of construction ", - warned V. Arutyunyan.

"We're already late for 2030 – 35 years, considering the volume of transit which is expected. This is a big problem for our country. With only 3-4 icebreakers, we will stop the process of shipping in the Arctic, it is necessary now to solve the problem of the lack of icebreakers ", - concluded the expert.


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