Russia’s Rosatom to sign contract for two more nuclear icebreakers

The Ural nuclear-powered icebreaker. Photo by © Petr Kovalev/TASS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MOSCOW, May 28, 2019, TASS. By September, Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom will sign a contract to build two more Project 22220 nuclear-powered icebreakers, a company spokesperson has told TASS.

“The treaty to build two more Project 22220 icebreakers will be signed by late August. Currently, we are preparing an open tender to build the new icebreakers,” the source said late on Monday.

The price of the fourth and fifth Project 22220 icebreakers is estimated at about 100 billion rubles (about $1.55 billion), including 45 billion rubles (about $700 million) to be allocated from the federal budget. The remaining part will be financed by funds provided by Rosatom and commercial banks.

Russia is the only country that builds nuclear icebreakers. It currently operates a fleet of eight icebreakers along the Northern Sea Route. Four of them (the 50 Let Pobedy, the Yamal, the Taymyr and the Vaygach) are nuclear-powered, the rest are diesel-electric.

The universal nuclear-powered icebreakers of Project 22220 are designed to become the world’s largest and most powerful ships of its kind. The Ural, a third nuclear-powered icebreaker of Project 22220, was floated out in St. Petersburg on May 25. Besides the Ural, the Arktika and the Sibir vessels are now under construction at the Baltic Shipyards. All the three vessels are to be put into operation by 2022.

After being put into service, the icebreakers of that class will keep navigation in the Arctic open all year round. They will be capable of breaking through ice up to three meters thick to make way for convoys of ships. Apart from that, the icebreakers will help ensure transportation of hydrocarbons from the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas to Asia Pacific.

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