Russian Minister of Industry and Energy Viktor Khristenko intends
to support the Russian shipbuilding industry through new legislation to prevent it from falling behind Western competitors. His ministry estimates that up to 40 platforms will be needed for oil and gas production
on then continental shelf by 2030, along with 85 specialized ships and more than 140 support ships.
Among the proposed measures Khristenko told the State Duma about
yesterday were the elimination of VAT on imported equipment that has no Russian-made analogs, interest-free credits for building ships, financing for modernization of production capacity. There would also be special measures “to reinforce the priority right of Russian industry to create means to develop the sea shelf,” limit the use of foreign ships for coastal and internal shipping, stimulate construction of fishing vessels and develop the leasing system for acquisition of river boats.
Khristenko also announced the outlines of the Complex Program to Advance Production of the Shipbuilding Industry on the Market between 2008 and 2015, which was approved by the cabinet of ministers last October. It envisages the establishment of a scientific center at the Krylov Institute
, two engineering centers and three shipbuilding centers, the Western, Northern and Far Eastern Centers. Ship repair centers will also be developed on the Black and Caspian Sea
The program will receive 23.7 billion rubles in funding between 2008 and 2010. Of that amount, 16.4 billion rubles will come from the federal budget. From 2010 to 2015, the program will receive 84.3 billion rubles, 80.6 billion rubles of which will come from the budget.