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Helsinki shipyard starts production of second icebreaking supply vessel

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NB506507microArctech Helsinki Shipyard Inc. started the production of a second icebreaking supply vessel for Russian shipping company Sovcomflot at the Helsinki Shipyard yesterday.

Both vessels will be delivered in April 2013. The main purpose for the vessels is to supply the Arkutun-Dagi oil and gas production platform of Exxon Neftegas Limited in the Sakhalin area in Far East Russia.


The Helsinki shipyard has built some 60 percent of the icebreakers in operation in the world. Since April, the yard has been operated as a joint venture between STX Finland Oy and Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), each with a 50 percent ownership.

Production of the first Sovcomflot icebreaking supply ship was started at Russia’s Vyborg Shipyard in July 2011 and on November 2, production of the sister vessel was started in Helsinki.

Thirty seven of the hull blocks of the vessels will be assembled at Vyborg Shipyard and and five in Helsinki. Most part of the hull production will be done as subcontracting work in Vyborg, as the steel production in Helsinki was closed down in 2003.

“At Arctech we are more concentrated on the project management, design, hull assembly, outfitting and implementation,” says Esko Mustamäki, the Managing Director of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard.

Arctech Helsinki Shipyard currently employs almost 300 people and the total is set to reach 400 employeesby February 2012.  During the past year Arctech has recruited about 40 new white-collar staff to strengthen its own design unit.

“The next recruitments will center on the blue-collar workers, for whom we will have work next winter and spring,” says Juha Sinkkonen, the Shipyard Director of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard.

The cooperation between Arctech Helsinki Shipyard and its Russian co-owner United Shipbuilding Corporation is about to become more active. An On-Site Training program for the Russian workers will start at Helsinki Shipyard in February 2012. 

“At first the aim is to organise an on-the-job training period for about 100 workers. During the training the workers will get familiar with Finnish shipbuilding practise, occupational safety and working methods,” says Mr. Sinkkonens.

“The on-the-job training enhances our cooperation with Russian shipyards, as our practices become more familiar to them. In the future we will be needing good partners to outsource the hull production,” says Mr. Mustamäki.

November 3, 2011

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