Russia’s renewed focus on the commercial shipbuilding industry was set as a key aim by Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev in his recent discussions on the development of the sector through 2015. This impetus on competitive opportunity coincides with the 13th International Maritime Exhibition and Conferences of Russia – NEVA 2015. This event provides a global platform to promote Russia's commercial shipbuilding, ship equipment and related maritime industries.
Various industry ministries have been charged with analysing industry prospects until 2030, with the findings to be submitted in January 2015. The study forms part of the State programme "Development of shipbuilding in 2013-2030", which aims to satisfy the needs of both the state and domestic business in terms of modern vessel production.
The initiative builds on the moves made by the country in 2013, with entry into the World Trade Organisation, the establishment of a Russian Chamber of Shipping and the call by President Vladimir Putin to boost the design and production of high-tech vessels. That year also saw the Prime Minister sign an official decree offering permanent and direct government support for NEVA as the premier marine business-to-business event in Russia.
NEVA has, since 1991, supported the expansion of Russia's commercial maritime industries by promoting development opportunities, products, services, designers and manufacturers, and cooperation with worldwide shipping and trade. In addition, it aims to stimulate international participation in Russia's redevelopment programmes.
Beyond the short term, prospects for developing commercial shipbuilding within Russia remain strong. The current order book for civil maritime vessels and facilities for the period until 2030 is promising, extending to 1,250 units, including more than 40 oil tankers and gas carriers, 300 offshore supply vessels and 150 drilling and survey platforms. The placement of these provisional orders and Russia’s plans to develop its industrial capabilities indicate that construction work will be implemented as new facilities in Asia enter into operation.
In his recent state of the nation address, President Putin announced that the Port of Vladivostok would become a free port by July 2015. This is the first port in the country to be given this status and it will result in a relaxation of customs regulations, the introduction of tax incentives for port operators, and a lower cost for ships using the port. The President also stated his intention to push ahead with the development of the Northern Shipping Route, giving more efficient access to Europe across the Arctic. It is predicted that by 2020-25, 50-60 million tonnes of cargo – a quarter of the freight volume shipped via the Suez Canal – will be transported via the Northern Sea Route. This will have a direct impact on the volume of orders placed for Arctic transport vessels and icebreakers.
Matthew M. White, General Director for Dolphin Exhibitions – organiser of NEVA, said: “Maritime shipping is one of the key segments of Russia’s modern transport system and accounts for a large proportion of the country’s foreign trade links. The government is not only committed to the reconstruction and development of the country’s shipyards but also the encouragement of a competitive marketplace. For the first time, the government has publicly stated that in order to ensure the development of a commercial shipbuilding sector, contracts must be placed with companies outside the United Shipbuilding Corporation. This is a truly exciting time for the industry and NEVA 2015 is perfectly timed to showcase the opportunities that will develop from this major shift in policy.”
More than 15,000 professional visitors and guests attended NEVA in 2013, with over 700 exhibiting companies and administrations from 35 countries, including 17 national pavilions. The NEVA 2015 profile will promote traditional sectors of shipbuilding, ship equipment, offshore shelf construction and equipment, ports and oceanography. The 2015 event will be held at the newly purpose-built Expoforum Exhibition Complex near Pulkovo International Airport.