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Russian oil major Rosneft plans to order reinforced ice-class shuttle tankers from the Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex currently under development.
Namely, Rosneft, Rosnefteflot and Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex signed today an agreement of intent that envisages placing orders with Zvezda Shipbuilding for shuttle tankers of Arc6-Arc7 ice class and 70,000 deadweight tons.
According to the agreement, the parties will jointly develop the technical documentation - the tanker specifications and determine the list of manufacturers of basic equipment.
The Russian-flagged shuttle tankers vessels will transport oil from Rosneft's Arctic fields, the company said.
The number of the tankers will be specified after the development of technical documentation and definition of core technical characteristics of the fleet.
Furthermore, Rosneft teamed up with Rosmorport Federal State Unitary Enterprise to cooperate in placing orders for the construction of ice breakers with the draft of about 3 meters and 6.4 MW power and ice-class auxiliary vessels.
Following to the agreement, Rosmorport will place an order for construction of one shallow-draft ice breaker at the Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex with an option for three more.
The ice breakers will be used to escort vessels in Russian Federation ports and port approaches, including for the need of marine terminals operated by Rosneft.
The ice breaker construction would enable the shipyard to expand its product range and gain additional experience in building ice-breakers and ice-class vessels.
Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex is being created on the basis of the Zvezda Far Eastern Shipyard by a consortium comprising Rosneftegaz, Rosneft and Gazprombank.
The initial workload of the shipyard is secured by Rosneft, which signed an exclusive agreement with the shipyard on placing orders for new vessels and related marine equipment.
Fifteen tankers will be built at South Korean shipyards to transport the products of the Yamal LNG plant, TASS cites Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying.
"We have noted with satisfaction the successful cooperation in the energy sector: South Korean companies are participating in the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 projects, we are working on the issue of increasing purchases of liquefied natural gas," the report quoted President Putin.
According to him, "15 tankers will be built at the South Korean shipyards to transport Yamal LNG products."
Besides, Vladimir Putin marked the advantages of the potential involvement of South Korean companies in the construction of infrastructure facilities in Russia, including the modernisation of Far Eastern ports and shipyards and the joint development of the Northern Sea Route.
These statements follow Putin's the talks with Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea.
Yamal LNG is a liquefied natural gas plant nearing operational capacity, in 2017, and located in Sabetta at the north-east corner of the Yamal Peninsula, Russia. The project is expected to cost US$27 billion.
The Cruise Lines International Association released its 2017 Asia Cruise Trends report, revealing that cruise tourism in Asia is still growing at an impressive rate.
"While the Asian cruise market has grown tremendously within the past four years - it has the potential to capture a much larger percentage of the Asian population, which could catapult Asia's capacity share ahead of competing markets," said Joel Katz, executive director, CLIA. "With these studies, CLIA aims to provide industry stakeholders with actionable, meaningful information to assist in structuring and supporting this emerging region."
- More Passengers
A total of 3.1 million Asians took cruises in 2016, 55 percent more than in 2015. Of these, 68 percent or 2.1M were from mainland China, a market which almost doubled as it grew by 99 percent last year and at a 4-year CAGR of 76 percent, confirming China as the world's fastest growing major source of passengers.
- More Ships in Asian Waters
In 2017, 66 cruise ships are being deployed in Asian waters. Five of these are mega ships (more than 3,500 passenger capacity), 13 are large (2,000 to 3,500 passengers), 26 of the deployed ships will be mid-size, and 17 seasonal small upscale ships will be active in the Asian region. In addition, the Expedition niche will have 5 ships deployed in limited seasons. In 2013, there were only 43 ships cruising in Asia, marking a 53 percent growth since 2013.
- Increased Operating Days in 2017
The Asian cruise industry has 10,196 operating days in Asia scheduled for 2017, an increase of 137 percent from 4,307 operating days in 2013, and an increase of 25 percent over the 8,171 operating days in 2016. The increased operating days in 2017 provide a total capacity for 4.24 million passengers. This passenger capacity has nearly tripled from 1.51M passengers in 2013.
- Asian Travelers Prefer Exploring Asian Destinations
Asian travelers predominantly take cruises within the region. Asian cruise only passengers grew at the fastest rate mostly due to the increase in the Chinese market. In fact, out of the 2,086 sailings scheduled for Asian waters in 2017 - 1,992 cruises (or 95.4%) will remain within Asia, with exclusive Asia-to-Asia itineraries, while an additional 94 voyages are scheduled to pass through the Asia region in 2017. Total sailings in and through Asia have seen strong growth over the past four years, increasing 142 percent, from 861 cruises and voyages in 2013 to 2,086 in 2017.
With over 37,000 km of coastline, and maritime borders that include the Pacific Ocean, and the Baltic, Black and Caspian Seas, Russia enjoys a hefty sea transportation presence. In fact, as much as 60% of all of Russia's international trade is carried by cargo ships.
While Russia took an economic nosedive in 2014, sea freight has remained rather resilient, even though cargo volumes obviously dropped off with Russia's decreased levels of international trade.
Since 2006, says the Russian Maritime Ports Association, the sector's total turnover had increased 77.4% by 2016.
Collective cargo turnover increased 6.7% across all Russian ports in 2016, reaching a whopping 721.9 million tons. On the container front, Russia is recovering too. 3.99 million TEUs passed through Russian container terminals during 2016, representing a 1.4% increase against 2015's traffic levels.
This growth looks like it is continuing through 2017. During Q1, Russia's seaports handled 183.3 million tons of cargo, showing a 9.5% year-on-year rise against January-March 2016. Likewise, container traffic is expanding too, posting an increase of 11.8% to 1.07 million TEUs in Jan-March 2017, compared with the same period in 2016.
Arctic regions posted the biggest cargo volumes, as freight levels rose a staggering 40.6%, to just shy of 50 million tons.
Out in the Far East, home to the ports of Vladivostok, Finding, Vanino, and more, freight levels rose too. While not as drastic as the performance seen in the Russian Arctic, volumes rose 8.3%, achieving roughly 175 million tons of dry bulk and liquid cargoes.
Alexei Bezborodov, head of research agency InfraNews, suggest the future of Russia's sea trade no longer lies in imports. Instead, export expansion, driven by a lower rouble rate and higher agricultural output, will be the industry's key driver.
Having said that, increased trade levels in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and African states will likely result in an influx of international goods passing through Russian maritime centres.
To accommodate heightened sea freight levels, the need to expand facilities now rests heavy on the minds of Russia's port authorities. Several big infrastructure projects are planned.
At Vladivostok, a 6.7 hectare logistics hub is under construction. Elsewhere, on the Black Sea, the port of Taman is getting a complete, $258 upgrade, including new bulk cargo and grain terminals.
Arkhangelsk in Northwest Russia is to see construction of a new deep-water port, with first cargoes passing through there by 2025. Planned for year-round operation, involving the deployment of icebreakers in the winter, Archangelsk's newest port facility will be able to handle 30 million tons of freight annually and act as alternative route for cargo flows to and from Europe, North America and China.
International port operators are also entering the market. Dubai's DP World, for instance, is in talks to acquire a minority stake in Fesco, Russia's largest port operator.
As the maritime industries are integral to Russian prosperity, more investment in port facilities, fleets, and sector-specific cargo-handling technologies is coming as the decade closes.
© Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University, NPO «Asia-Pacific Journal of Marine Science&Education. Editors Board».