St. Petersburg Shipbuilding Industry Sees Decline

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Shipbuilding in St. Petersburg, according to the St. Petersburg Times, is shrinking. In the past, the city’s three largest shipyards - Admiralteyskiye Verfi, Baltiysky Zavod and Severnaya Verf - were overloaded with state orders for submarines and ships, tankers and ice-beakers. But today, many shipbuilding engineers and workers are facing a different circumstance. State orders are no longer able to support the industry. Instead, more successful are those who export their frigates and submarines to India and China. These days any land in St. Petertsburg, but especially along the coast, is in high demand. Shipyards are attracting property developers rather than researchers and developers. At first, most shipyards were privatized in the early 1990s and since then have undergone numerous changes in ownership. Most recently, old shipyards are being looked at for their property value and potential of real estate development. Almaz, a medium-sized shipyard located on Petrovsky Island, was sold to the local management company Nevsky Capital. The new owners announced their plans to optimize the plant’s production facilities and include Almaz in their real estate projects, which implies that the company will limit its stay in the industry. The future of Baltiysky Zavod and Severnaya Verf is also unclear. These yards, which have changed hands several times, have, since last year, been owned by OPK, a daughter company of MezhPromBank. According to industry rumors, the bank may sell the holding to the Russian government, uniting several enterprises in the process. Such a merger would obviously mean production be concentrated at one site, with another being used for the construction of new real estate. (Source: St. Petersburg Times)
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