Nuclear-powered icebreaker "50 Let Pobedy" at dock in the central harbor of Murmansk. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Turkish yard wins bid to build nuclear icebreaker dock

The floating dock will be the largest in the Russian north with a capacity of 30,000 tonnes, enough to hold the new generation icebreakers of Project 22220.
June 13, 2021

The value of the contract with the Turkish KuzeyStar Shipyard is 4,981 billion rubles (€55 million). The dock, whose construction had been discussed since 2015, will be built and brought to Murmansk within 29 months of the signation of the contract. The dock will be able to carry out repairs on nuclear-powered icebreakers, including the new “Arctic” series of Project 22220. Also, Atomflot’s nuclear service ships, like the Imandra and Serebryanka, can get hull service in the new dock.

Today, there are no docks in the Murmansk region that can serve the new Arktika-class, and Atomflot itself doesn’t have its own dock large enough to serve the older icebreakers. Consequently, ships like “50 Let Pobedy” and “Yamal” have to be docked in the central harbor of Murmansk city. 

The option of docking the new generation icebreakers in the PD-50 dock at Shipyard No.82 north of Murmansk was on the table until the 330-meter, 80,000-ton dock sank in October of 2018.

The new dock to be built in Turkey will be a minimum of 220 meters long, 48 meters wide and with a pontoon height of approximately 6 meters to ensure the dock’s buoyancy. The dock will be operated by a crew of 30 and have a 30,000-ton capacity, according to SeaNews

No Russian shipyards were ready to take on the job. Several domestic shipyards had repeatedly stated that the maximum price Rosatom was willing to offer for the job was too low.  Therefore, Atomflot’s first “competition”, which was intended to be held solely for Russian shipyards, never took place. Rather, Rosatom turned to international shipyards to get the job done.

A second “competition” was held in which three applications were filed: KuzeyStar Shipyard that offered a price of 4.981 billion rubles; the Turkish Epic Denizcilik ve Gemi Insaat A.S., offering 4.45 billion rubles for the job; and the Chinese company Jiangsu Dajin Heavy Industry Co. LTD. requesting 4.57 billion rubles for their service.

In the end, the judging commission decided for KuzeyStar Shipyard to take the job despite its higher cost requirements. When discussing why KuzeyStar Shipyard was given the job, Mustafa Kashka, the General Director of FSUE Atomflot, said at a press conference that “the Turkish shipyard has the necessary competencies and a solid reputation in the shipbuilding market.”

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The purchase of KuzeyStar Shipyard’s services was carried out in accordance with the Unified Industry Procurement Standard of Rosatom State Corporation under Federal Law of the Russian Federation No. 223-FZ “On the Procurement of Goods, Works, Services by Certain Types of Legal Entities.” 

Atomflot’s original plan was to have the dock built by the fall of 2024. Considering that KuzeyStar Shipyard will commence its work as soon as possible, by following their outlined 29-month construction timeline, Atomflot’s goal is on track to being accomplished by November 2024.

 

The new floating dock will be located at Atomflot service base in Murmansk. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

 

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