Keel Laying for Russia's Second Nuclear Icebreaker
Today the Baltic Shipyard in St Petersburg (part of United Shipbuilding Corporation) laid the keel of Ural, Project 22220’s second series-produced nuclear icebreaker. The icebreaker’s body is to be built entirely from shipbuilding steel supplied by OJSC Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works ("MMK").
In total, MMK will supply 15,000 tonnes of steel for Ural. MMK metal has also been used in the construction of the first Project 22220 icebreakers – the flagship Arktika and the first series-produced icebreaker Siberia.
MMK accounts for over 50% of all metal supplies used in Russia’s shipbuilding industry. In 2015, MMK shipped 86,000 tonnes of metal to domestic ship builders, up nearly 11% year-on-year and up approximately 1.5x against 2013. United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) is MMK’s key customer in the shipbuilding industry. In 2011, United Shipbuilding Corporation and MMK signed a strategic cooperation memorandum. In H1 2016 MMK’s shipments to USC’s facilities amounted to 17,500 tonnes. In addition, in 2016 MMK has won tenders for the shipment of 24,800 tonnes to these facilities.
Project 22220’s universal nuclear icebreakers are the world’s largest ships in their class. In total, three ships of this type will be built to upgrade Russia’s nuclear icebreaker fleet. Project 22220’s ships will have a draught of 33,500 tonnes and will be 173m long and 34m wide. They will be able to reach speeds of up to 22 knots. The icebreakers will be able to pilot convoys of vessels, breaking ice up to 3m wide both in arctic seas and polar rivers.
The Project’s flagship icebreaker Arktika was floated out on 16 June 2016. Since 28 June its place on the berth has been occupied by Project 22220’s first series-produced icebreaker Siberia. Arktika, Siberia and Ural are to be commissioned before the end of 2017, 2019, and 2020, respectively. MMK steel is also used by USC to build the diesel-electric icebreaker Aker ARC 130 А, named after Victor Chernomyrdin, the largest multifunctional line diesel-electric icebreaker, and other vessels.