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Sevmash in trouble

13.06.2008 The Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk Oblast, was on the agenda when the Russian government discussed the country’s military industrial complex on 11, June. The yard, one of the biggest in Russia, has proved unable to cope with three major ongoing construction projects.

Sevmash, one of two major shipyards in Russia’s northern engineering capital of Severodvinsk, has become a headache for the Russian government. Not only has the plant ended up in trouble because of its delays and cost overruns with the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, which is to be sold to the Indian Navy. Sevmash is also significantly behind schedules with the nuclear-powered submarine Yuri Dolgorukii – the first of Russia’s fourth generation submarines.

In addition, the plant recently also confirmed that it will not manage to complete the construction of the floating nuclear power station – the Akademik Lomonosov. According to newspaper Vedomosti, the plant is already one year behind schedules with the unique power generating unit.

The Sevmash has also had major problems with completing several civil construction works. As previously reported by BarentsObserver, the Norwegian shipping company Odfjell earlier this year cancelled a big construction order on several chemical tankers, because of numerous delays.

Sources in the Ministry of Defence says to Vedomosti that the shipyard has been in a difficult situation since the early 1990s because of its lack of clever managers.

The Russian government has long put pressure on Sevmash to speed up the construction orders. Last year, the director of the company was dismissed because of the long-dragged projects. New company head Kalistratov is however unlikely to make any quick improvements.

The main problem of Sevmash is most probably a structural one. Russia’s nuclear submarine constructor number one is huge and in major need of modernisation. In order to cope with its many big projects, the plant will have to restructure production processes and apply new technology.

Source: www.barentsobserver.com

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