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Bolshoi Kamen
Bol'shoi Kamen / Bol'shoy Kamen'
43°08'00"N 132°20'00"E

    Fokino [aka Tikhookeanskiy]
    42°59'01"N  132°24'17"E   
    Dunai [aka Dunay]
    42°52'00"N  132°22'00"E  
    42°51'43"N  132°25'02"E

Bolshoi Kamen [literally "Big Stone"] on the Sea of Japan is a military town of 30-50,000 residents. it is located 12 miles northeast of Vladivostok across Lazurnaya Bay. Primorskii Krai lies in the southern part of the Russian Far East occupying 165,900 sq km along the coast of the Sea of Japan. Over 60% of the engineering sector in Primorsky Territory is engaged in the ship industry, the centers of which are Nakhodka, Vladivostok, Bolshoi Kamen and Slavyanka. Defence-oriented engineering production is being converted to manufacture of fishing vessels, refrigerated vessels, tankers and timber vessels.

The most dangerous environmental threat for Primorskiy Kray today is probably radioactive waste. The Russian Pacific Fleet and its arsenal, located in mainly in Vladivostok and nearby Russkiy Island, has both nuclear weapons, ship borne nuclear reactors, and radioactive waste. About 100 vessels list in the harbors around Vladivostok, and some 40 aging nuclear submarines are docked at Bolshoi Kamen.

Zvezda shipyard / United Shipbuilding

The Zvezda shipyard is being built by a consortium comprising Rosneft, Rosneftegaz and Gazprom on the basis of the Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Center (FESRC). Rosneft has secured contracts for the design, construction and supply of new maritime equipment and vessels at the shipyard, including two multifunctional ice-breaking supply vessels.

Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex had about 1,500 employees in 2018, 87% of whom live in the Far East. The shipyard intended to hire about 2,000 more professionals of various areas of expertise this year. By 2024, the number of employees will exceed 7,000. The shipyard is actively negotiating with potential customers to ink a range of new contracts, including orders for ice-class tankers, supply vessels, gas-carrier ships, and auxiliary fleet vessels.

United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) has taken on 53.5122% of the voting shares of the long planned Far Eastern Plant Zvezda shipbuilding complex in Russia’s Far East. Zvezda (a company of the Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Center, or FESRC) is a leading shipyard providing services for repairs of submarines of the Russia’s Pacific Fleet and the only company in the Far East specializing in repairs, conversion and modernization of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.

According to a Dec. 7 report from Itar-Tass, two new shipyards in Russia’s Primorsky Territory – Zvezda (Star)-DSME and Vostok (East)-Raffles that were laid down just a year ago, have already been engaged with orders. The contracts signed to date include the construction of 47 heavy-tonnage shipbuilding facilities. These are tankers, LNG carriers, floating plants to produce liquefied natural gas, as well as offshore drilling platforms.

Russia's Rosneft, Gazprombank, Sovcomflot with Korean shipbuilding company Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on key terms of co-operation to establish a shipbuilding and industrial cluster in the southern part of Primorskiy Krai (Russian Far East). The parties agreed to jointly complete the construction and launch a new shipyard – shipbuilding complex Zvezda – in 2016, to establish a Russian-Korean engineering center for shipbuilding and marine equipment for offshore projects. The companies also agreed key terms for technology exchange, localization of production and contracts placement.

Production of vessels at the Zvezda shipyard in Russia’s Far East region will begin this year, with the pilot order being delivered in 2019, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said 01 January 2016 at the launching ceremony of the shipyard’s first phase. "The project to establish a modern shipbuilding complex Zvezda, which in 2015 came entirely under the control of Rosneft, will be realized in three stages. Production of vessels will begin this year, with a pilot order planned to be delivered in 2019," Sechin said.

According to Sechin, the first stage will allow to produce supply ships, ice-class tankers and other marine equipment, with the volume of metal processing reaching 90,000 metric tons per year. The second phase of the project, which includes the constriction of a dry dock, is set to significantly increase the shipyard’s performance and to produce ships of almost any weight and dimensions. The new dock is expected to be equipped with a Goliath-type crane with the load capacity of 900 metric tons, the Rosneft CEO said. The third stage will allow for the construction of all types of offshore structures and will increase the shipyard’s metal processing volume to 380 metric tons per year – almost half of all metal processed in the shipbuilding industry in Russia.

German and Finnish partners continued to build Russia’s Far Eastern “Zvezda” shipyard for Arctic oil exploration ships, in spite of Western sanctions, reports Sputnik. According to Director of the Far Eastern enterprise Yuri Filecroc, German and Finnish partners are working at the shipyard diligently, as they are interested in the job. "We hope they will cooperate with us, as these companies are global leaders," he added. The “Zvezda” factory, located in Russia’s Far East, is the leading plant for repairing submarines of the Pacific Fleet.

A set of agreements between PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group), Rosneft, the State Transport Leasing Company (STLC) and Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex will see the construction of five Aframax tankers for the export of crude oil and oil products from 2021. The 114,000 dwt vessels will be built by Zvezda jointly with technology partner Hyundai Heavy Industries (Republic of Korea). The tankers are purpose-designed to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as their primary fuel and will have an ice class of 1A/1B…

During the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Fincantieri and Rosneft signed a Heads of Agreement for the formation of a joint venture focused on design and engineering of a new type of vessel to be built at the Zvezda shipbuilding complex. The parties will also explore the possible development of those professional competences required to support the shipbuilding phase of the project. Cooperation with Fincantieri will enable to enhance the technical potential of Zvezda Shipbuilding Cluster and lay the basis for creation of innovative equipment. The cooperation will be carried out in compliance and subject to the applicable EU, U.S. and international trade rules.

Zvezda Far East Shipyard and Nantong COSCO Heavy Industry Co.,Ltd(CHIC) signed a contract for the supply of 9 cranes for Zvezda shipyard in the presence of Igor Sechin, Rosneft Chairman of the Management Board. The document was signed by Evgeny Kraynov, Zvezda Project Leader and Zhao Zengshan, General Manager of Nantong COSCO Heavy Industry Co. Ltd.

Rosnefteflot, a subsidiary of Russia’s petroleum company Rosneft, has inked agreements with compatriot Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex for construction of ten Arctic shuttle tankers. At the same time Rosnefteflot and Taimyrneftegaz  signed an agreement for 20 year time chartering of these tankers. Each tankers will be with 42,000 t deadweight each. ARC7 ice class tankers are designed for operations in the conditions with ice thickness up to 1.8 m and ambient temperature of down to 45 degrees.

Rosnefteflot, a subsidiary of Russia’s petroleum company Rosneft, has inked agreements with compatriot Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex for construction of ten Arctic shuttle tankers. At the same time Rosnefteflot and Taimyrneftegaz  signed an agreement for 20 year time chartering of these tankers. Each tankers will be with 42,000 t deadweight each. ARC7 ice class tankers are designed for operations in the conditions with ice thickness up to 1.8 m and ambient temperature of down to 45 degrees.

On 24 July 2018, a floating dock with a capacity of 40,000 tons arrived at the Russian Red Star Shipyard. The floating transfer dock is one of the shipyard's key elements. It is designed for launching from the slipway large-sized marine vessels, 300 m length and over 50 m width, with a launching weight up to 40,000 tonnes, as well as offshore facilities, like drilling platforms and their pieces (bases and topsides) In addition, the dock can be used to lift from water elements subject to repair and then transfer them to the berth or launch them, and also to tow a ship or a drilling platform element within the navigation area. Unlike other floating docks, which are used for repair operations, this transfer dock is essentially an elevator, designed to tranfer ships between the flat docks on land and the water.

Zvezda Shipyard Zvezda Shipyard

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin said that a new generation of Russian aircraft carriers may be built at the Red Star Shipyard, and the shipyard will be ready by 2020. Previously, China had supplied a 1200-ton gantry crane to the Red Star Shipyard and four 320-ton and four 100-ton cranes, which would be used for Russian aircraft carrier construction.

By mid-2018, the upgrade project of the Russian Red Star Shipyard in the Far East was about to be completed. Red Star Shipyard had 7 large-scale cranes standing tall, and these gantry cranes are the subscription contracts signed by Hongxing Shipyard and Nantong Zhongyuan. According to the contract, Nantong Zhongyuan Heavy provides a 1200-ton gantry crane and four 320-ton and four 100-ton cranes for the Red Star Shipyard. These seven gantry cranes have been installed.

Since one of the lifting capacity has reached 1,200 tons, some speculated that the Red Star Shipyard will be used for the construction of the latest Russian aircraft carrier. This view is not unfounded. Previously, Russian deputy minister Rogzin said that Russia will build the latest Russian aircraft carrier at the Red Star Shipyard. However, Rogozin’s words were immediately opposed by military experts who believed that Rogozin’s words were entirely “enlarged words” and that Russia still had a long way to go to build its own aircraft carrier.

If the Russian Red Star Shipyard is upgraded, it will become the first modern shipyard in Russia after the disintegration of the former Soviet Union. Previously, the Red Star Shipyard was mainly responsible for repairing the submarine of the Pacific Fleet and had the ability to improve the ballistic missile submarine. The history of the aircraft carrier was not previously constructed.

It can be said that the Red Star Shipyard is not the best in Russia, nor the best shipyard in the Soviet era. The renovation of the shipyard was completed in 2018. After completion, the construction of the merchant ship will be mainly carried out, for example, the construction of the Arctic continental shelf oil and gas field.

On 08 September 2017 Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Red Star Shipyard during the renovation and expressed great confidence in the future of Red Star. The most interesting thing is that China not only sold the gantry crane to the Russian Red Star Shipyard, but also built a dock for the Red Star Shipyard in China.

First of all, the purchase of a thousand-ton gantry crane by the Russian side can see the determination to restore the manufacturing capacity of heavy ships. However, Russia’s territory has formed a great division of its oceans, which makes Russia unable to produce the accumulation effect of resources in shipbuilding. Coupled with the difficulty of Russia’s national strength, it is impossible to send domestic parts used to build aircraft carriers across Siberia.

Secondly, from the accumulation of technology, Red Star has never produced an aircraft carrier, and there is no technical accumulation. In addition, Russia lacks experience in the construction of aircraft carriers. After the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, the massive loss of talents has made it impossible for Russia to restore the construction capacity of large military vessels. It can be seen from the process of modifying the aircraft carrier for India.

Finally, the most deadly is the collapse of the Russian industrial system, which is an irreparable loss caused by the disintegration of the former Soviet Union. The construction of aircraft carriers requires the cooperation of thousands of departments. In the case that Russian domestic parts cannot be produced and at the same time foreign countries are subject to sanctions, the manufacture of aircraft carriers becomes more difficult. It can be said that the construction of the aircraft carrier by Russian Red Star is for the moment impossible.

The capacity of the Zvezda shipyard by 2023 will exceed the capacity of all enterprises of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said in an interview with Russia-1 TV channel on 07 September 2019. “The first stage (construction of the Zvezda shipyard - approx. TASS) is 2019, the second stage is 2023. Shipyards usually measure tons of metal processing. The first stage will allow processing of 90 thousand tons of metal, the second - 240 thousand, and so in the amount of 330 thousand tons of metal, "said Borisov.

“To compare: all the existing capacities of USC enterprises are less than this amount. Including Peter, Sevmash and other plants. This one plant will process more metal,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. He also recalled that at the Zvezda shipyard it is planned to build three nuclear-powered ships of the project 10510 Leader, which are conceived as the most powerful nuclear-powered icebreakers in the world (120 MW). As Vyacheslav Ruksha, the head of the Northern Sea Route Directorate, said earlier, Rosatom expects to conclude a contract for the construction of the Lider icebreaker no later than the first half of 2020.

Zvezda is a Russian large-capacity shipbuilding enterprise under construction located in the town of Bolshoi Kamen of the Primorsky Territory. The production program of the Zvezda shipbuilding complex was developed until 2035 based on the needs of major customers and the capabilities of the shipyard. The order portfolio included 178 units of ships and marine equipment of various types. By mid-2019, the ship portfolio of SSK Zvezda had 39 vessels, and, subject to options, 59. Rosneft is the anchor customer.

At SSK "Zvezda" the following had already been put into operation: a block of hull production, painting booths, an open heavy outfitting slipway with a fleet of unique cranes and an advanced ship-transport system, and a transfer dock. The constructed workshops made it possible, without waiting for the completion of work on the construction of the shipyard, to start building ships.

The company completed the construction of a dry dock, one of the largest in the world. Commissioning works are in progress. A unique hydraulic structure measuring 485 by 114 meters and a depth of 14 meters provides unlimited opportunities for the construction of ships of any size and complexity. The dry dock was commissioned four years earlier than originally scheduled. As reported on December 21, 2021 by OOO Shipbuilding Complex Zvezda (SSK Zvezda, Bolshoy Kamen, Primorsky Territory), the construction of a dry dock, one of the largest in the world, was completed at SSK Zvezda.

Zvezda Shipyard Zvezda Shipyard Zvezda Shipyard Zvezda Shipyard

Zvezda Shipyard / Dalzavod

Zvezda, a sprawling military shipyard at Bolshoi Kamen, is a subordinate facility of Dalzavod, headquartered in Vladivostok. The Zvezda Shipyard repairs Russian Navy nuclear-powered submarines, but the government has said that it would also repair conventional attack submarines sold to foreign navies, as well as build and repair merchant vessels. Zvezda is used to repair second-generation submarines, and the staff and equipment are preparing for the fourth-generation subs. In 1998 the 190 million rubles earmarked for Zvezda to repair submarines was slashed to just 6 million. The submarine construction complex, with 3,000 workers, also repairs navy and private vessels and builds smaller boats.

The high potential of the plant for many years, used for the repair of ships and vessels of various types and degrees of complexity. A unique complex of salvage, the presence of slipways and equipped outdoor stockpile sites allow you to take and repair ships and vessels up to 160 meters of varying complexity and length of repair. Replacing the outer hull of submarines, renovation of buildings of civil courts, emergency repairs with the restoration of the shaft line at major transport and special courts, aggregate repair and replacement of equipment and machinery, fabrication and installation of pipelines of various ship systems, all types of electrical work, the production of technical rubber products ¬ and engineering products - this is not a complete list of works carried out by the plant. The high professional level of contractors, the corresponding technological discipline and permanent factory system of quality control make it possible to query the most demanding customer, and with the flexible pricing policy works is especially attractive for all ship owners in the region.

Socio-economic problems within Russia led to significant local unrest in the shipyards and harbors containing the laid up nuclear submarines. Basic social services were curtailed and salaries went unpaid. In March 1997 some 2,000 workers at the Zvezda submarine repair facility blocked the highway connecting Vladivostok and Nakhodka. They were demanding both their back wages and the resignation of the government. In November 1996 the mayor of Bolshoi Kamen warned the population they might have to move elsewhere during the winter to keep warm because the city had used up all its fuel reserves and could not buy any more until the Ministry of Defense paid its debts. The cash-strapped Zvezda facility, entrusted with storing the town's winter fuel reserves, had used them for its own needs and failed to obtain a bank credit to purchase new fuel.

In late July 1997 Zvezda Shipyard received 10 billion Russian rubles from the central government to pay wages owed since December 1996. On 01 July 1997, employees blocked the Trans-Siberian Railway to demand their wages, and were promised 20 billion rubles. The second half of that promise was secured after a 20-day strike that ended 21 July 1997. The central government still owed at least 60 bilion rubles in salaries to the yard.

Zvezda has been able to exploit its position as one of the best submarine repairing facilities in Northeast Asia and has secured an order to repair two Chinese submarines. In addition, Zvezda, Dalzavod, and another MIC ship-repairing facility, Eastern Shipyard, are participants of the Primorskii Krai administration's very ambitious program for the RFE to build several hundred small- and medium-sized fishing boats using these military facilities. This program would serve the dual purposes of helping these shipyards overcome the effects of the late 1990s econmic crisis and renovating the obsolete fishing fleet.

At three major naval bases in Russia--near the northern cities of Severodvinsk and Murmansk and the far eastern city of Bolshoi Kamen, near Vladivostok--the Cooperative Threat Reduction [Nunn-Lugar] Program is providing equipment which the Russians are using for actual destruction of their strategic missile-launching submarines. The US Defense Threat Reduction Agency is paying the shipyard $8 million to chop up submarines.

US Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) projects addressed solid radioactive wastes as part of the dismantlement and disposal of targeted Russian ballistic missile submarines and their reactor components. CTR has provisions to process solid radioactive wastes only at Zvezdochka near Severodvinsk and Zvezda near Vladivostok in the Far East. The Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation Program (AMEC) solid radioactive wastes processing system will be established at facilities on the northeastern portion of the Kola Peninsula near Murmansk, which are more than 500 miles from Severodvinsk.

When a nuclear submarine is retired, the process includes de-fueling, cutting out the reactor compartment and preparing it for long-term storage. Most submarines have two reactors, each reactor contains 180 – 280 fuel assemblies. The reactor compartments are sealed, buoyancy compartments attached and then stored afloat. A service ship transports the spent fuel to a land-based storage site, for eventual transportation to Mayak in the southern Urals for storage or reprocessing. The spent fuel is transported in special casks and railcars. The initial submarine dismantlement includes removal of deckhouse enclosures and other detachable parts while in the water, then dry dock or slip-way work is performed. Here, the reactor compartment is removed, missile compartment is cut out, and the bow and stern are removed. The remainder of the hull is sectioned and recycled as feasible.

The Pacific Fleet had to develop a provisional solution to storing the reactor vessels because it lacks land based storage sites. At the scrapping yard at Bolshoi Kamen in the Far East, the submarines are stripped of their outer shell and dismantled. The reactor compartment and two adjoining compartments are retained as a unit, which is then hermetically sealed so they will float. These units are towed to storage sites at the Pavlovsk nuclear submarine base near Vladivostok, where they float in the water at dockside.

The challenges associated with each step are equipment and personnel for de-fueling, storage capacity, transport frequency and the need for advance payment to reprocess the fuel. Most of these challenges also apply to the liquid and solid radioactive waste processing steps. Until recently, one of the major bottlenecks has been the spent fuel transport frequency by railway for reprocessing. The addition of a second transport train has increased the frequency of shipments. The dismantlement process also generates non-radioactive waste. Significant amounts of gas, aerosols and dust is released during dismantling polluting the air, soil and water with non-radioactive substances in the vicinity of the work sites. For example, the gas-plasma arc cutting torches pollute 35 million cubic meters of air with hazardous substances when cutting one ton of steel 20 mm thick. The protective equipment used by the workers frequently is ineffective. Improved ecological monitoring is required.

Responsibility for decomissioned nuclear-powered submarines was transferred from the Defence Ministry to the Ministry of the Atomic Energy in late 1998 under Government Resolution No.518. Consequently, all the operations for the dismantling of nuclear-powered submarines and ships was transferred totally to the industrial sector -- the defence enterprises Zvezdochka and Nerpa located in the North, and Zvezda in the Far East -- the three Russian enterprises that scrap old submarines.

The Zvezda plant planned to double the number of dismantled submarines in 1999, to four, increase the number of jobs at the enterprise to 1,000 or even 1,200. The modernisation of the Zvezda plant, planned to be carried out before 2003 and financed by the US within the framework of the military conversion program, will make it possible to start the creation of new production capacities for the repair of ships and shipbuilding.

As of October 1999 the Nuclear Ministry was searching for places for temporary storage of the spent fuel from nuclear-powered submarines. It was considering bases on the Kola peninsula, the Andreyeva inlet, Gremikha, the Nerpa ship-repairing plant near Murmansk, and Kamchatka.

The Japanese have commissioned a radioactive wastewater treatment facility at Bolshoi Kamen. The Japanese government decided to fund construction of the plant after it was revealed that Russia dumped some 800 tonnes of radioactive waste from dismantled nuclear-powered submarines into the Sea of Japan. The Federal Security Service sought to prosecute treason charges against Capt. Grigory Pasko, who revealed the dumping of liquid radioactive waste in the sea.

Funding for the liquid waste storage and processing plant was provided by the Japanese government as part of an October 1993 agreement with the Russian Federation to assist in the environmentally safe reduction of its nuclear defense systems, including the dismantlement of part of the Russian nuclear submarine fleet. This sophisticated plant mounted on a 213-by-77-foot barge which is capable of treating 1.8 million gallons per year. The processing system extracts waste contaminants from water used in the submarine decommissioning and dismantlement process. The low-level nuclear waste is mixed with concrete, placed in specially-designed containers and placed in secure storage pending ultimate geologic disposal. The treated water, which meets most drinking water purification standards, is returned to the sea.

The Babcox and Wilcox Division of McDermott, working with Russian partners in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Bolshoi Kamen, conducted this project. McDermott teamed with Amur Shipbuilding Yard (Komsomolsk-on-Amur), and Zvezda (Bolshoy Kamen) to build a the nuclear waste storage and processing barge at Bolshoi Kamen. The barge itself was designed and built at Amur Shipyard. Mcamur Construction Services, a joint venture between McDermott and Amur provided on-site management. McDermott provided design and purchased components for the liquid waste processing system and other auxiliary systems from U.S. companies. Final testing and installation was completed at Zvezda Shipyard in Bolshoi Kamen.


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Page last modified: 09-01-2022 13:26:44 ZULU