The Khabarovsk shipbuilding yard began to build crab fishing vessels for Mag-Sea International Co., Ltd. The contract valued at more than 2.5 billion rubles. By the order of Mag-Sea International Co., Ltd. (Mikhail Kotov, General Director), the keels of two crabbers were laid on March, 27th.
Due to the epidemiological situation caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19), this event of big importance for not only the Magadan and Khabarovsk regions, but also for the entire Far East was held without an official part and wide press coverage. The yard specialists, customer and the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping representatives were attended.
After laying down the first two hull sections of the crabbers, the further works were shutdowned to comply the quarantine regulations. The yard management, considering the obligations assumed under the contract, the project importance in developing Russian shipbuilding industry and to achieve goals of state programs on crab and investment quotas, has made a formal request to Khabarovsk regional administration to resume work. The permission to continue work activities was obtained, and the construction of the Magadan vessels resumed on April, 6.
According to Vyacheslav Stepanov, Chief Inshore Fishery Engineer, Mag-Sea International Co., coordinating this project, currently about 150 specialists are involved in metal cutting, welding, hulls parts assembly.
“The hull building-up of the first vessel on the shipbuilding platform is planned to be completed by next spring,” he said. – “The yard is not out of schedule, despite force majeure circumstances, such as reduced manpower. All employees over 65 years old are on self-isolation, and this is almost a quarter of the team, and the most qualified, experienced ones.
Our company took over the purchasing fishery, navigational, refrigeration and other high-quality marine equipment manufactured in Japan and Korea. We take an active part in all technological processes, and we specify details with designers as work proceeds”.
In the view of Mikhail Kotov, General Director of the company the shortage of personnel at the yard is the most serious problem at this time. “in recent decades, shipbuilding industry in the Far East has been in a deep crisis with enterprises accumulating billions dollars debt, blocked accounts and seized property. In this regard, we pay directly to factory suppliers of materials, and energy suppliers as well. This is not quite good, but we have to overcome the challenge and keep construction on.
But the main thing is that the industry has lost professionals, it has lost continuity. We want to build ships, update our fleet using domestic shipyards. We are discussing plans for long-term cooperation with the Khabarovsk Shipyard management and the United Shipbuilding Corporation. That’s why, the yard needs well-educated people. We are looking for them in Russia and neighboring countries, and considering options of inviting specialists from China for experience exchange.
At the same time, we are raising the issue of restarting professional trainings in the shipbuilding industry. The proposals on the opening of secondary technical educational institutions for the training of highly skilled workers — welders, mechanics, electricians, are sent to the Federation Council. It’s impossible to develop shipbuilding without people who has a good grasp on it and skillful work hands,” says the head.
The state obligated fishermen to lay down crab fishing boats at domestic shipyards by returning crab auctions which are burdening their winners with the responsibility — “one lot bought out — one new boat”.
On January 15, Mag-Sea International Co., Ltd and Khabarovsk Ship Building Yard, the part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation state holding, signed a contract for the of two crab fishing boats.
According to the design developed by Russian engineers modelled after Japanese crab fishing boat, the hull length will be 63 m, gross tonnage — more than 1000 tons, crew size — 21 people, sea endurance — 45 days.
The boats are designed to catch crab, prawn and fish, store the catch in chilled sea water and transport it to the port in a live condition. The fishing area is the northern part of the Pacific Ocean with contiguous seas. The contract value is more than 2.5 billion rubles.
Magadan fishermen expect to get completed boats ahead of schedule — in 2-2.5 years.