The Lotus Shipyard of the Southern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Centre (part of United Shipbuilding Corporation) hosted the launching ceremony of the lead vessel in a series of four self-propelled rotary suction dredgers, the contract for the construction of which was signed in 2020 with GTLK JSC.
This is an innovative vessel, whose technical characteristics are far superior to the current dredging fleet. A comparative analysis showed the cost effectiveness of the new type of dredger to be 2.3 times higher than the multi-dredger and 20% higher than the suction-tube dredger.
Astrakhan Oblast Governor Igor Babushkin, while opening the launching ceremony, noted that the Astrakhan region has the necessary potential to become a centre for construction of the dredging fleet. "Our shipbuilders have a wealth of experience in building vessels for various purposes and complex objects for offshore fields. This allows us to actively develop a new direction in shipbuilding and launch serial production of domestic dredgers, "- said the head of the region.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of United Shipbuilding Corporation JSC Georgy Poltavchenko stressed that with the development of the International Transport Corridor "North-South" the need for such vessels increases. "At the recent Caspian summit Russian President Vladimir Putin clearly indicated the geopolitical vector of our economic development with creation of international transport corridor "North-South". A freight corridor from St. Petersburg along Russia's main rivers, through the Astrakhan region and further along the Caspian to Iran and India. This is the most important project that will be implemented as soon as possible. It is nice that we, understanding the importance of this direction, were ready. And we actively started building dredges", he said.
Sergey Milushkin, Director General of SEZ Lotus JSC, commented on the ceremony. "This is an important event, which was preceded by many years of hard work. Together with Rosmorrechflot, United Shipbuilding Corporation, GTLC, regional administration and the shipyard we covered the way from the idea and the first sketches of the future vessel to the ready-to-operate beautiful dredger. Moreover, at that time we said that it had to be a large series of vessels with the creation of a dredging competence centre here. Today we can see that all efforts were not in vain, and in the current situation the operation of the North-South ITC, the growth of cargo turnover through the Astrakhan region and the implementation of investment projects in our port SEZ directly depend on high-quality dredging. I congratulate the staff of the shipyard and all those involved with the first vessel of a large promising project. I hope it will become a good tradition," he said.
The main features of the project are:
- hull length - 50.00 m; - hull width - 11.88 m; - side height - 2.97 m; - average draught with full fuel reserve -1.30 m; - maximum excavation depth - 10 m; - minimum excavation depth - 2.0 m; - dredging capacity - 900 m3/hour
After launching, the vessel will be completed on the water and undergo mooring and sea trials.