23 September, 1997. - A keel-laying ceremony was held at the Volgograd shipyard on September 18 to mark the beginning of the construction of a river-sea tanker for the LUKOIL fleet.
By November 2001, the Volgograd shipyard is to build 10 such tankers for LUKOIL. Their carrying capacity is up to 3,600 tonnes on rivers and up to 6,600 tonnes in the sea. They can develop a speed of up to 10 knots and operate autonomously for 15 days. The range of navigation is 4,000 miles. The investment will pay back in seven to eight years.
The design work has been done by the Volgograd design bureau at LUKOIL's special order. The tankers are intended for carrying crude oil and all types of petroleum products. Two types of fuel can be carried simultaneously.
LUKOIL's tanker fleet presently consists of two tankers - the Lukomorye with a carrying capacity of 38,000 tonnes and the Kogalym with a carrying capacity of 28,500 tonnes. The Admiralty Yard in St.Petersburg is building five ice-going tankers with a carrying capacity of 16,000 tonnes. Another five ice-going tankers with a carrying capacity of 20,000 tonnes will be built by the Wismar yard (Germany). A tanker fleet will rid LUKOIL of the need to freight tankers from other shipping companies and reduce its transportation expenses. In the future LUKOIL will switch over entirely to its own tankers.
LUKOIL's Vice President Anatoly Barkov said at the ceremony that "this example of cooperation between two Russian companies objectively promotes the development of the Russian industry and boosts the national economy in general."
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