Nothing is the same anymore, not even on the Northern Sea route. Due to the sanctions against Russia and the boycott of the West against fossil energies from this region, the producers and extractors of gas and oil deposits must increasingly look to the East for selling their products. And that’s where the problem lies.
Due to the lack of pipelines to China and India, delivery is currently only possible via the Northern Sea route, which is only partly navigable in winter. To keep the sea route open, new icebreakers are urgently needed by the government. But since time is pressing and new material is not available so quickly, the only short-term option is to keep old icebreakers ‘alive’.
Thus, from identical icebreakers, one is used as a spare parts carrier and the other as a receiver. The two icebreakers “Yemark” and “Krasin” will make the start. Both were built on behalf of Sudoimport in 1974 and 1976 at the Finnish Wärtsilä shipyard for the former Soviet Union. Now the “Yemark” becomes a spare parts supplier for the icebreaker “Krasin”. The ship is dismantled by two companies from St. Petersburg. In the process, more than 700 items will be removed from the “Jermak” and stored.
According to the deputy general director of the state enterprise Rosmoport, Vasily Strugov, thanks to the decommissioning of the non-nuclear icebreaker “Yermak” it will be possible to maintain the technical readiness of the icebreaker “Krasin”.
Strugov explains, “There are a total of 268 vessels in the Rosmorport fleet, serving 65 ports in 24 regions. Currently, 22 ships are not in operation and have helped us not to have to stop the business. They became donor ships for spare parts, what is there to hide.”
“Thanks to the decommissioning of the icebreaker “Yermak”, we have the opportunity to ensure that the icebreaker “Krasin” is ready for the winter voyage during a short summer voyage. It is clear that this is a short time, the spare part dispensers will run out sooner or later. In fact, the supply of spare parts and assemblies available there is insufficient,“ said the deputy head of Rosmorport.
To solve the difficulties in spare parts supply, the modernization of Finnish-built icebreakers of projects 1101 and 1105 is being discussed to extend their service life by 15 years. According to Strugov’s statements, this concerns six icebreakers: Kapitan Dranitsyn, Kapitan Khlebnikov, Kapitan Chechkin, Kapitan Bukaev, Kapitan Chadaev and Kapitan Zarubin.
“These are the most common last-century vessels used during the year,” the top executive said. According to him, the task is to convert auxiliary mechanisms and main units to the Russian-made ships. Construction and installation work on these icebreakers is planned for 2025-2029. According to Rosmorport, the company operated a total of 37 icebreakers in its fleet as of July 1, 2022.
Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal