Rosatom: Lider icebreaker’s construction estimated at $1.8 billion

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ST. PETERSBURG, April 12. /TASS/.Russia’s state-run nuclear corporation, Rosatom, estimates construction of the first 120MW nuclear-class icebreaker Lider (Leader in English) at 120 billion rubles ($1.8 billion). The construction’s expenses will be covered by the federal budget, Rosatom’s CEO Alexei Likhachev said in an interview with TASS at the international Arctic forum in St. Petersburg.

“We estimate the Lider’s cost at about 120 billion rubles,” he said. “We hope, of course, to launch the project before the yearend and that the implementation will begin at the Zvezda shipyard from 2020.”

“The president’s decision is that the first Lider icebreaker will be built at the budget’s expense,” he continued. “This decision is absolutely correct, as the risks to build the first Lider with commercial financing are too high.”

Rosatom plans to build three icebreakers of that class. Works on the second and third icebreakers will be financed jointly by the state budget and Rosatom.

“In about 2021-2022, we shall be able to say when the second and third icebreakers would be ready,” the official said.

The 120MW Lider icebreaker would be the first icebreaker in the world to escort vessels along the Northern Sea Route year-round, breaking ice of up to four meters thick. Earlier forecasts quoted the icebreaker’s cost at between 70 and 100 billion rubles ($1.09-1.55 billion).

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