MOSCOW, April 30 (RIA Novosti) – The Zalyv Shipyard in Crimea’s port of Kerch could soon be commissioned to construct Arctic supertankers, a spokesman for Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation said Wednesday.
“Crimea has the only shipbuilding yard in Russia with a slab measured 300 meters in length and up to 50 meters in width. Such a slab allows building supertankers and gas carriers with a deadweight of over 150,000 tons,” Alexei Kravchenko said.
He added that smaller tankers would be less competitive as they would significantly increase the cost of transporting oil and gas.
The statement came on the heels of comments by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who said Tuesday that all defense industry plants in Crimea will be involved in the modernization of the Russian Black Sea fleet and the construction of Arctic vessels.
Currently, only shipyards in St. Petersburg and the Far East are receiving such orders, the spokesman said.
Arctic territories, believed to hold vast untapped oil and gas reserves, have increasingly been at the center of disputes between the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway and Denmark as rising temperatures lead to a reduction in sea ice.
Russia submitted a territorial claim for the Lomonosov Ridge, believed to hold vast hydrocarbon deposits, to the United Nations in 2001 but it was turned down over a lack of evidence. Norway, Canada, Denmark and the United States have also laid claims to the territory.
Russian Nature Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi told President Vladimir Putin in early April that a revised claim will be ready this fall.