Sanctions currently imposed on Russia by the Western countries will mean a step-up in domestic production of engines and shipboard equipment in order to ensure the survival of Russian shipbuilding, writes Eugene Gerden.

The Krylov State Research Centre, Russia’s largest ship R&D facility, it has been commissioned by the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade to produce plans to avoid potential shortages. As a result. Krylov has produced a programme for localisation of production of shipboard equipment. Should imports of engines and equipment be cut, Krylov says this will threaten the country’s shipbuilding projects.

Alexander Chemodanov, an official spokesperson of the Krylov Centre, identified a shortfall in engine production, and particularly in associated equipment such as starting compressors. He said that Russia has a small compressor plant, but mostly relies on imports from Germany. In addition, Krylov has identified current shortages of pump systems, desalination plant, steering gear, deck and galley equipment, cranes, alarm systems and navigation and communication equipment.

Under the Krylov plans, more than 600 different items of shipboard equipment will need to be produced in Russia by 2020. The shipbuilders currently depend on imports, mostly from Germany, Norway and the US. It is expected that particular attention will be paid to production of engines, at local enterprises such as Penzadieselmash, JSC Rumo, JSC Kolomna, JSC MC Bryansk, Zvezda and some others.

Under the plans, the main responsibility for implementation will rest with the United Shipbuilding Corporation and its recently appointed president Alexei Rakhmanov. Some of the new facilties are likely to be established as joint ventures with foreign countries not partaking in the sanctions, such as China. The amount of investment is not disclosed, but the project will be funded from own resources backed by bank loans.

Another likely result of the sanctions is that current cooperation agreements between European producers of marine equipment and Russian shipbuilders may be suspended.