The strained Russian economy does not allow for major investments in new icebreakers.
The icebreaker program is on the cut-list along with 41 other federal investment projects, newspaper Vedomosti informs. The list was discussed in a meeting between President Putin and key government ministers last Thursday, the newspaper writes.
The 42 projects include investment amounting to 347.3 billion rubles, of which credits were to account for 235.5 billion.
The meeting revealed major differences in the position of the country’s Central Bank and the Ministry of Economic Development. While the former proposes to boost federal project financing in a bid to vitalize the economy, the latter wants to proceed with the cut-plan.
Major icebreaker program
As previously reported, Russia is in the process of unfolding a major icebreaker program, which includes both nuclear-powered and conventional diesel-engine vessels. The jewel in the program is the LK-60 (project 22220) icebreaker, which will be able to ship through three meter thick ice. At least two LK-60 vessels are planned built, the first one of them, the «Arktika», is to be ready for service in 2019.
Russia is also building the world’s biggest diesel-engine icebreakers, the LK-25 (project 22600). The first vessel of the kind named “Viktor Chernomyrdin” is built for the Russian state company Rosmorport and is significantly behind schedule.
Related stories from around the North:
Asia: Full steam ahead for Asian icebreakers in the Arctic this summer, Blog by Mia Bennett
Canada: Ship trouble in the Arctic on the rise: report, Alaska Public Radio Network
China: China’s silk road plans could challenge Northern Sea Route, Blog by Mia Bennett
Finland: New Finland icebreaker can operate sideways with asymmetrical hull, Yle News
Norway: Arctic shipping – The myths, the realities & the challenges ahead, Eye on the Arctic
Sweden: Sweden wants lower emissions for new icebreakers, Radio Sweden
Russia: New vessels for Russia’s Coast Guard, Barents Observer
United States: No ‘national imperative’ for icebreakers: U.S. official, Alaska Dispatch News