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Russian Fishery Company announced in April 2019 that construction has begun on the second vessel of its planned fleet of super-trawlers. Construction of the high-tech vessel is taking place at Admiralty Shipyards, which is contracted to deliver a total of six such vessels for Russian Fishery Company by 2023. More details about fishing trawlers can be found in the PDF attachment to this post.

All six vessels are being constructed under the state investment quota programme. Victor Olerskiy, the former head of the Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transportation of the Russian Federation, serves on the board of directors of Russian Fishery Company.

Russia’s State Investment Quota Programme

This initiative was introduced by the government of the Russian Federation in 2016, designed to rejuvenate the fishing industry by modernising fleets. There were 56 applications approved under the programme by an intergovernmental commission, which looked at a total of 68 applications.

Nine vessels were approved for fishing in the Far Eastern basin, of which six were RFC’s super-trawlers. The other applications approved included 23 new processing facilities and 24 vessels for fishing in the Northern basin.

Companies that fish in the Northern or Far Eastern basin for Pacific and Atlantic cod, haddock, halibut, herring plaice and squid were invited to apply for investment quota incentives. There were no restrictions on the range of vessels that could be applied for.

The six RFC super-trawlers being constructed by Admiralty Shipyards will enable RFC to receive an additional yearly quota of herring and pollock of over 170,000 tons per year. More information about Admiralty Shipyards can be seen in the embedded short video.

RFC Super-Trawlers

The six RFC super-trawlers are being built in pairs over a period of less than four years between 2019 and 2023, with a three-month interval for vessels in each pair between keel laying and approximately a year between the start date for construction of each pair.

The first of the trawlers is scheduled for launch in 2020 and for commissioning in 2021. Each individual vessel is designed to be able to haul more than 50,000 tons of fish each year, doubling the capacity of most other fishing trawlers operating in the Russian basin.

Modern factory facilities will be equipped on-board to facilitate high value-added product production across the entire catch, with a waste-free production process for pollock fillets and surimi, among other products. Investment in the construction project is estimated at more than 37 billion roubles, the equivalent of around $623 million (USD). This series of vessels is billed as the ‘longest’ of a similar class in Russia today.

You can see some of the world’s largest ships of all types throughout history in the infographic attachment to this post.

Fleet Modernisation

Russian Fishery Company took advantage of the government incentive programme as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to fleet modernisation. Deputy general director of RFC Fedor Kirsanov, who is also in charge of the new vessel construction programme of the company, stated that new ships were required to replace outdated vessels, with an appropriate ice class, if RFC were to increase productivity in the long-term and maintain the highest product quality.

Major repairs and extensive modernisation have been carried out across many of the existing trawlers in the RFC fleet, with plans underway to install the latest technology and equipment on-board. Kirsanov is looking at a five to seven-year plan for upgrading the RFC fleet. The current fleet consists of two refrigerated cargo ships and two transport vessels alongside 12 large-capacity RFC trawlers.