Monday, February 16, 2015

XLT: Kerch Shipyard Using Scrap Metal for Navy Tanker Keel-Laying

                                               [translation of news article]
Keel authentication plaque for Project 23131 universal naval tanker - December 26, 2014
[credit: Curious]

February 16, 2015

Construction of sections of two tankers for the Russian Navy, earlier laid down at Zaliv Shipyard in Crimea, has halted.

According to Central Naval Portal (CNP) sources, work on construction of the tankers stopped immediately after the ceremonial keel-laying, which took place in late December 2014.

CNP confirmed this through employees of the company. "Now these sections are sitting at the side of the shipyard, in a so-called reserve area. No one is doing or plans to do anything with them," - a Zaliv employee told CNP.

Another specialist of the company provided similar information. "The tankers, which were 'laid down', have been cut up for metal," he noted, adding that the sections used for the keel-laying were made of scrap metal.

"Some old hulls were turned over for the keel-laying," a factory worker responded when asked about the ships that were laid down. Similar information was provided to CNP by two more Zaliv shipyard employees.

CNP asked the shipyard's press office for comment on the situation. However, it would not confirm the information about any halt in the construction of the tankers. "Work continues. The delivery time frame for the tankers is 2017-2018," shipyard press secretary Marina Romanika explained.

Republic of Crimea Prime Minister Sergey Aksenov attended the keel-laying ceremony for the Russian Navy tankers. At that time, he announced that the two new tankers were just the beginning. "Crimean officials guarantee their full support to the shipbuilders. We guarantee there will be no bureaucratic red-tape or unscheduled inspections, and we will support the company 100 percent," Aksenov said during the December 2014 keel-laying of the vessels.

In late January, CNP reported that Zaliv Shipyard had not laid down the four military ships that Republic of Crimea Prime Minister Sergey Aksenov had promised would be laid down at the shipyard.

The Project 23131 tanker was designed by SpetsSudoProyekt (St. Petersburg). The vessel is designed to carry special liquids: diesel fuel, oil, aviation kerosene, and others. The tanker has a length of 145 meters, beam of 24 meters, and dead weight of 12,000 tons.