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Vyborg ST-116XL-FOR Type: Freezer trawler

Galicia negotiates contracts for new freezer 'navy' for Russia

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Thursday, October 12, 2017, 02:50 (GMT + 9)

In times of the USSR, the fishing fleet of the former communist bastion reached over 11 million tonnes of annual catches, but after the fall of the wall this industry experienced a huge crisis that reduced this figure to just over five million tonnes. The government of Vladimir Putin considers this sector strategic and has programmed, through the Russian Fisheries Agency, an ambitious fishing renewal plan. Some 40 freezer trawlers will be built in just five years, although the needs of new vessels are estimated at up to 400. And the Galician naval, as it happened in the late 80's, it is postulated as a great ally for the "largest shipbuilding project of the century".

Metalships has established over the years recent a cute shipyard fit to tackle the most challenging projects in the most efficient and timely manner.(Photo: Metalships shipyard Vigo - Galicia)

Metalships opened the spigot with a 110-metre mega-trawler for the Russian Fishery Company (RFC), which will make another five large ones. Because the ships of Putin's new navy will be, at least, over 80 metres. The further the shipyards and auxiliaries progress in the negotiation of contracts, the more possibilities they will have to be successful for two reasons.

  • The public aid program, announced by Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev in May, wants to restrict as much as possible the entry of foreign companies into this macro-project. By 2020, shipbuilders receiving State support will have to award at least 30 per cent of the value of the vessels to Russian firms. This percentage will increase to 40 per cent from that date.
  • The Russian naval does not have the know-how that the one from Galicia does possess. "Once they export the knowledge and the technology will be in better disposition to assume the whole plan"

Vyborg ST-116XL-FOR  Type: Freezer trawler 

In addition to Metalships & Docks, an auxiliary from Vigo has already shipped deck equipment to the Viborg shipyard (representing 70 per cent of the Russian shipbuilding) for one of these trawlers, and will charter the rest of the merchandise by the end of the month. Other auxiliary firms, mainly technological ones, have initiated contacts with companies of Saint Petersburg, Kaliningrad and Murmansk.

"Spain, as one of the world leaders in the construction of fishing vessels, has plenty of experience and international prestige to face this interesting challenge," it is argued from Pymar, considering it "predictable" that the Galician navy fishes new charges in the " short term".

Almost three decades ago, Factorías Vulcano and Naval Gijón were able to obtain (at the beginning of 1989) the request to build fifteen 105-metre factory trawlers valued at 70,000 million pesetas (almost EUR 421 million) on behalf of the then Soviet Ministry of Fisheries. Vulcano made eight, and Naval Gijon built the remaining seven.

Source: Lara Graña / Faro de Vigo

[email protected]


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