Russia to replace sunken floating dock in Murmansk

A floating dock in Roslyakovo outside Murmansk, northwestern Russia, on September 16, 2009. Russia’s largest dry dock sunk last year in Roslyakovo, killing one and injuring four, and damaging the Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s only aircraft carrier. (Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty Images)
The new drydock will replace the floating dry dock that last year sunk into the Arctic waters of the Kola Bay.

The Zvezdochka shipyard now confirms that a replacement for the PD-50 that last October vanished into the sea is soon in the making.

The new dock will be based on two existing dry docks located in yard No 35 in Roslyakovo, the town situated only few kilometers from Murmansk City.

When completed, the dry dock will be the biggest of its kind in Russia, press secretary of Zvezdochka Yevgeny Gladyshev told Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

“At the moment, the dock is divided in two parts, it is actually two different docks,” Gladyshev made clear to the newspaper. The reconstruction will include the merging of the two parts into one joint dock. In addition, the whole installation will be made longer.

According to the company representative, the project is ongoing and design and construction specifications under elaboration.

The whole process is estimated to last for about 1.5 years.

The new drydock will be able to handle Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s only aircraft carrier.. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Sunken dock a hurdle for navy upgrades

The Russian Navy was put in a difficult situation when the floating dry dock PD-50 sunk last October. The 330 meter long installation was the only place that could handle upgrades and repairs of the biggest naval vessels. That includes aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and battle cruiser Pyotr Veliky.

The floating dock had been built in Sweden in 1980 and few years later bought by the Soviet Union and taken to the Kola Bay, in northwestern Russia. There were about 60 people on the dock when, early morning 30th October 2018, it sunk into the sea. Five of them did not manage to get to safety. One man died and four were injured.

Aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was in the dock as the accident happened. The vessel was damaged as a large crane fell over the ship deck. The ship has since been lying along the port side of Roslyakovo.

A major upgrade of the aircraft carrier is due to be completed by year 2021. Press secretary Yevgeny Gladyshev does not exclude that the ship reconstruction process could be delayed.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Premier in Arctic Canada to push Ottawa for more military and icebreakers in the North, CBC News

China: Russia, China step up talks over Arctic shipping, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad sunk, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian Navy building new supply depot for Arctic operations, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: More assertive U.S. Arctic policy puts Ottawa and Washington on collision course, Alaska Public Media

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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