26 Oct 2017 14:04

Rosatom may build Leader icebreaker in alliance with companies developing Arctic

MOSCOW. Oct 26 (Interfax) - The Rosatom state corporation is considering the possibility of building the Leader nuclear-powered icebreaker in alliance with major companies involved in Arctic development projects, Rosatom chief Alexei Likhachev told journalists.

"We expect a government decision on the Leader icebreaker in the next few months. It will be connected with the state's comprehensive approach in the Arctic, with the development of Arctic fields. If the cargo flow eastward on the Northern Sea Route is going to be around 40 million-65 million tonnes in the near-term outlook, we need to have year-round navigation. Only the Leader nuclear icebreaker, with improved speed and technical characteristics, will be able to ensure that. Leader's construction can be viewed in the context of the overall economy, a global project to develop Russia's Arctic," Likhachev said.

Leader might be built on a BOO (build-own-operate) basis in alliance with major companies developing fields in the Arctic. "The project's entire economics can be arranged in this way," he said.

Baltic Shipyard is currently building three icebreakers with 60 megawatts of power: Arktika, Ural and Sibir. They are scheduled for commissioning respectively in June 2019, November 2020 and November 2021.

Leader, with 120-130 MW of power, will be over 200 meters long, 50 meters wide and have a draft of 13 meters. It will be able to break through ice over 4 meters thick, enabling it to pass through the Arctic year-round.