Rosatom plans to order six additional icebreakers to ensure the export of Russian hydrocarbons and international transit on the Northern Sea Route by 2030, Kirill Komarov, the first deputy general director of the corporation, told reporters.
According to him, two of them are nuclear-powered icebreakers of the 22220 series of the “Arktika” type with a capacity of 60 MW, and four more are icebreakers on liquefied natural gas (LNG).
According to Komarov, the cost of one nuclear icebreaker is estimated at 60 billion rubles. The top manager did not specify how much the LNG ships will cost.
Rosatom General Director Alexei Likhachev also confirmed that the state corporation intends to develop plans for the construction of icebreakers. “Icebreakers – one of which has already been built, four are under construction – is not a final decision (in terms of their number – Vedomosti). This is just one of the stages in the development of the nuclear icebreaker fleet on the horizon until 2026. And we have always said that we will return to the issue of increasing the project 22220 icebreakers, ”Likhachev explained.
He added that in 2023-2024. Rosatom will decide how many large-scale 120 MW icebreakers the Russian Federation will need after 2030. This is the 10510 Leader project, the lead icebreaker of this series was laid down in June 2021 at the Zvezda shipyard.
“In an alliance with business, we will also build lighter icebreakers with a capacity of 25-45 MW to operate in light ice and river mouths. We agree that these could be LNG-powered icebreakers. They are being built faster, their payback period is shorter, “he answered a question from Vedomosti.
The Russian nuclear icebreaker fleet currently includes five nuclear icebreakers – Yamal, 50 Let Pobedy, Taimyr, Vaigach and Arktika. There is also a nuclear-powered container ship “Sevmorput”.
The icebreaker fleet in Russia is being created within the framework of two main projects. The lead icebreaker “Arktika” of project 22220 with a capacity of 60 MW (81,000 hp) was launched back in 2016, and made its first voyage in 2020. It is now the most powerful in the world. Icebreakers of Project 22220 will be able to break through ice with a thickness of almost 3 m. The United Shipbuilding Corporation is building four more icebreakers, similar to the Arctic, at the Baltic Shipyard. At the Far East shipyard “Zvezda” the icebreaker of the project 10510 “Leader” for 120 MW was laid down. The nuclear-powered ship will be capable of laying a channel about 50 m wide. For comparison: “Arktika” – just over 30 m. It should be commissioned in 2027.
Over the past five years, the volume of traffic on the Northern Sea Route has increased 5.5 times. At the end of 2020, the traffic volume amounted to about 33 million tons, which is almost 1.5 million tons more than in 2019, and also higher than the target figure for the last year (29 million tons).
By 2024, the volume of cargo transportation along the NSR is to grow to 80 million tons. By 2030, year-round navigation should be established, and the cargo traffic is planned to increase to 150 million tons, and by 2035 – to 160 million tons.