Opinions

2019 April 19

(USC President Aleksey Rakhmanov - On problems of commercial shipbuilding development )

- To meet a target set by the President of the country we should boost shipbuilding five-fold over a decade.  That ambitious result is impossible without the development of exports, introduction of innovations and consistent support from the state. We have actually learnt how to build good equipment but competitive prices and services are needed to enter the foreign market with it. Even if we create something cutting-edge at a reasonable price we will need about a year to assure both foreign and domestic clients, such as Sovcomflot and Atomflot, that the order is reasonable. Meanwhile, availability of maintenance services in Russia and outside it will be among the determining factors. This sector of service is well represented by foreign manufactures while we have to work hard to ensure it. Obviously, industry diversification is facilitated by various state support programmes but we are not likely to see an industrial revolution in domestic commercial shipbuilding without considerable state subsidies. We can take China as an example. The government provides shipyards with subsidies covering about one third of construction costs. The global market influence is also seen when it comes to localization of shipbuilding manufacturers. If the challenges of large ships construction evident in the Far East are not taken into consideration, the strategy of total localization applicable to production of instruments and shipboard equipment may lead to unprofitable business. The key thing we are to do today, which makes the foundation of the industry development, is a clear state steering guiding the proves. 

Said at the joint meeting of the Expert Council on development of shipbuilding industry and marine equipment, the Expert Council on legislative improvements in the sphere of defence orders and the Committee on Shipbuilding Industry and Marine Equipment of the Russian Engineering Union held in Moscow on April 17.