From the First Contract to Longtime Relations

Maritime Market has already reported (#1/11, 2005) about one of the new players on Russian shipbuilding business field, namely MNP - Onshore & Offshore Group (MNP Group) that was detached from OMZ Industrial Corporation in 2004. MNP Group is specialized in commercial shipbuilding and unites well-known Russian shipyards, Krasnoye Sormovo and Nizhegorodskiy Teplokhod, Volgograd Shipyard, Astrakhan III Int. Shipyard. Another principal direction of MNP Group activity is designing technical facilities purposed for sea shelf development.

Centers of shipbuilding activity have shifted from Western Europe to Japanese, South Korean, Chinese, Turkish yards. This process has coincided with the restoration of the shipbuilding after the major depression of RSormovo Shipyardussian young capitalism. Under these conditions, only those companies survived, which counted on “customer is always right” principle. At least, almost always: private companies can not afford working at dead loss.

MNP Group customers embrace the leading Russian and foreign shipping companies, operating at internal water ways of Russia and Europe, as well as in the basins of Black Sea and Sea of Azov, Caspian Sea, Mediterranean Sea.

More then five years the companies of MNP Group keep cooperation with Navigator company. For this company Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard Shipyard is constructing the series of 11 river-sea-going tankers of 5400 tons deadweight (project 19614). Now they are the largest Russian ships navigating in rivers (141 m length, 16.9 m width). The design of such tanker had been developed by Engineering Center of MNP Group. This is up-to-date vessel, endurance of 12 days, double-sided and double-bottomed to prevent oil spill in case of emergency. By onboard propulsion plant, project 19614 vessels are attributed to the highest fifth group. Nine vessels named after Russian cities have already been delivered to the customer.

In October 2002 the contract was concluded with Azerbaijan State Caspian Shipping Company (KASPAR) for construction of three tankers of project 19619, deadweight of 13.1 thousand tons. Such tankers structurally excel by the possibility to take sea without tug assistance. So, tanker is able to call most of Caspian ports equipped with oil terminals. Moreover, double-shell hull and good maneuverability enable accident-free operation of vessel; that is especially important for Caspian environment, featuring by extremely delicate ecosystem.

KASPAR has already commenced operation of first two vessels constructed by Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard Shipyard named President Geidar Aliev and Babek. The third oil tanker named Shah Ismael Khatai was launched on July 3, 2005; her delivery is planned for September 2005. Each of these vessels is capable to transport up to 1 million tons of crude oil per year.

“We are glad that our cooperation progresses so successfully. Let the deal keep going similarly: you construct, we purchase. This will reinforce our relations and our friendship”, said the Chief Engineer of Caspian Shipping Company Mr. Mustafa Mustafaev at the launching ceremony.

According to the new contract concluded in January 2005, Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard Shipyard has laid for KASPAR two more large-capacity tankers of project19619 those will be delivered in the second half of 2006.

Cargo transportation field is also actively taken by Palmali Shipping that is another MNP Group client. Having the next-years goal to extend and renew the fleet owned, Palmali Shipping has found MNP Group to be reliable and qualified partner. Under the contract signed in May 2003 Volgograd Shipyard has constructed and delivered Palmali Shipping three dry-cargo vessels of project 006RSD05 (developed by Odessa Maritime Engineering Bureau). The third dry-cargo vessel Ilyas Efendiev left the yard in August 2005. The contract stipulates also the fourth vessel that is being constructed by Volgograd Shipyard. Her launching is planned for October 2005. Besides that, the contract has been signed for construction of the fifth and the sixth dry-cargo vessels of the same design. These vessels will join Palmali Shipping fleet in the second half of 2006.

Dry-cargo vessel of project 006RSD05 is the largest among river-sea-going dry-cargo ships constructed in Russia (length of 140 m, width of 16,5 m, deadweight of 6970 tons). Such vessel is designed for transportation of general, bulk, timber, grain and large-sized cargoes, 8,5 and 9 feet high international standard containers, as well as dangerous cargoes. She is going to be operated at inland waters of European part of Russian Federation including Volga-Don channel, as well as within sea areas corresponding with vessel’s class, including around-Europe navigation, European-Caspian lines, Sea of Azov and Black Sea port – continent lines etc.

As other vessels constructed by MNP Group yards, this dry-cargo vessel is double-sided and double-bottomed to meet the requirements of the International Maritime Convention. The features of the vessel are two full-rotary rudder-propellers enabling vessel to move any direction and turn almost on the spot. This solution meeting up-to-date worldwide mainstream was first introduced in Russian shipbuilding practice just during construction of project 006RSD05 dry-cargo vessel.

For TT Shipping company, Volgograd Shipyard is constructing the series of tankers of project 17103 with deadweight of 5400 tons. The contract stipulated construction of two tankers: the first one Alkor was handed over in the end of 2004, the second one named Alshar – in June 2005. The option stipulates construction of two similar tankers more.

MNP Group tries to diversify markets and, upon its reputation of reliable Russian builder of commercial vessels, to enter new markets of both Europe and the Middle East. In August 2005 the contracts were concluded for construction of four Hazar type dry-cargo vessels of project RSD19 for Iranian company Irinvestship Limited. The design of river-and sea-going dry-cargo vessels had been developed by Odessa Maritime Engineering Bureau. Her deadweight is 6750 tons, cruising range is 4000 miles.

Entering European market is complex and many-aspect problem that is being resolved by MNP by using capabilities of own shipyards, mainly Astrakhan III Int. Shipyard and Nizhegorodskiy Teplokhod Shipyard, to construct various design hulls followed by outfitting at European yards.

For the Swedish shipping company, Astrakhan III Int. Shipyard plans to construct six hulls of food tankers of project LMG 34 PT (including four ones stipulated by the option). Now, two first hulls are being constructed; under MNP Group’s order they will be outfitted by Estonian company SRC Laevaremondi OU. Outfitting involves installation of equipment, systems and machinery, isolation works, paint coating. The first tanker of the series is planned to be commissioned in January 2006, the second one – in June 2006.

For Dutch company Rensen Shipbuilding BV, Astrakhan III Int. Shipyard has completed construction of the first hull of the chemical tanker of project 30577. This tanker purposed for rivers and channels of Western Europe will be outfitted in the Netherlands. All works and hull acceptance had been performed under Lloyd’s Register’s supervision.

The hull of the tanker was delivered to the customer in the middle of July in Rotterdam; at the same time the contract for construction of six container ship hulls was signed.

However, MNP Group considers that their key competence is construction of vessels equipped with up-to-date control facilities, which meet requirements of international conventions in reliability and safety of navigation. Promotion of complex comprehensive vessels to European market is the aim of the present stage of development of MNP Group’s shipbuilding business.

Now, for European shipping company, the food tanker of project PK-608 with deadweight of 6500 tons is being constructed. It is being constructed for Det Norske Veritas (DNV) class by Volgograd Shipyard. This vessel meets the latest requirements in navigation safety and environment protection. The tanker may be used for whole-year cargo transportation in the ice conditions. The lead vessel is planned to be commissioned by the end of this year. Next two tankers and planned to be constructed in 2006.

“Similar tankers were never constructed in Russia. They are highest-class vessels having the most modern equipment. For our company, initiated cooperation with European customers is an important step forward that opens the new market”, said Mr. Mikhail Aivazov, Shipbuilding Director, MNP Group.

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# 3(13), 2005