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"Morye" shipbuilding company

In 2013 Feodosia shipbuilding company "Morye" celebrated its 75th anniversary on the 5th of October. The company is a shipyard that specializes in production of high-speed dynamically supported vessels (hydrofoils, hovercrafts, vessels with air-cavities) planing boats, pleasure yachts and boats with hull made of aluminum-magnesium alloy. The company, which was the biggest in the Ukraine in its field, returned to Russian jurisdication following the annexation of Crimea in March 2014.

In 1986 the sea-going gas turbine hydrofoil "Cyclone" was launched. The vessel has the displacement of 142t, takes aboard 250 passengers, who can make themselves comfortable on two decks. The maximum speed is 42 knots; the cruising range is 300 miles.

In the 1990s the company successfully built the sea-going hydrofoils "Olympia" which were designed for fast passenger transportation, at the dark time as well. The "Olympia" accommodated 250 passengers. The displacement of the hydrofoil is 135 tons, the speed is 37 knots (68,5 km/h), the cruising range is 300 miles.

Since 1994 the company has been building multi-purpose water-jet boat "Kalkan". She has a displacement of 7 tons, the speed 32 knots, the cruise range about 500 km. "Kalkan" has draught of only 0.6 m and is designed for operation in rivers, lakes and the coastal area of sea. Different modifications of the boat can be built.v In 1999 FSA "Morye" developed technological documentation and with the technical assistance of FSA "Morye" specialists a high-speed ecology control boat VIT 2500 was built on "Bashon" shipyard (Hoshimin, Vietnam). The boat has the total displacement of 38.1 tons, the speed is 38 knots (74 km/h), and the cruising range is 500 miles.

In 2000 the company delivered to the customer the multipurpose high-speed boat of "Kafa 2400" project. The boat displacement is 35 tons, the speed is 32 knots. "Katran" air cavity fiber glass boat is one of the latest developments with speed of 38 knots, which can take aboard 3-5 passengers and with the cruising range of 250 miles. In 2001 the multi-purpose water-jet boat Kafa - 1350 was completed to the project of well-known company MTD, St. Petersburg. In 2000-2002 the company delivered one air cushion landing craft Zubr for the Greek Navy.

In 2002 a series production of fast boat Krym-6M and her modifications to the design of designer Vladimir Nelipa was organized. In 2002 the Voskhod hydrofoils and her modifications were delivered to the customer. At the end of 2003 the fast patrol boat of Grif-T project was laid down and delivered to the customer in 2004. FSC "Morye" successfully cooperates with foreign shipbuilding companies in sea facilities construction.

By 2003 China was considering acquisition of two ZUBR ("European Bison") landing cushioncraft from the Feodosia, Crimea-based shipbuilding company MORYE ("Sea"). Also, China was contemplating to buy technologies to make such cushioncraft. China had for long displayed its interest to Zubr cushioncraft. The problem is that the Zubr cushioncraft's designer, the Central Design Office ALMAZ ("Diamond") is located in Russia, whereas the company MORYE is just a serial manufacturer of these. Virtually every completing part to make Zubr cushioncraft is shipped to the MORYE by its Russian partners, with the exception of engines, which are made in Ukraine. So, to sell Zubr technologies to a third party will necessitate asking for the Russian side's consent and this will require due protection of the Ukrainian party's interests, as well. If ever such a deal with China materializes, it will involve Ukraine's cooperation with Russia.

However, the Russian and Ukrainian parties have some positive experience with this regard as once Zubr cushioncraft were sold to Greece. In January 2000 Greece bought four Zubr cushioncraft, two from Russia and two from Ukraine. The Russian contract was valuated at roughly 102 M. USD, and the Ukrainian deal was appraised at around 98 million US dollars. The Feodosia, Crimea-based shipbuilding company MORYE ("Sea") shipped a large batch of completing parts for Zubr ("European Bison") class cushioncraft to the Moscow, Russia-based design office VINT in January 2004. About a hundred turbine blades have thus been shipped to the MORYE company's customer in Moscow.

State exporter companies then contracted the Feodosia shipbuilding company Morye a contract for the sale of four Zubr hovercrafts to China. The contract was for more than US $200 mn and the share of technology export in the Ukrainian export grew to 25-30%. In accordance with the aforementioned contract, the plant exports to China two ships and after that the Chinese party is rendered the services of Ukrainian experts and is granted the right to manufacture two more ships on its territory. The client will be provided with technical documentation for the landing craft and in the future China will be able to build as many Zubr ships as it wants, reads the statement of authorized representatives of the Ukrainian authorities.

In July 2011 Russias state arms export monopoly Rosoboronexport accused Ukraine of breaking Russian intellectual property rights in signing a contract for the supply of the Project 1232.2 "ZUBR" small air-cushion landing craft to China. A leading Ukrainian defense industry expert, Sergey Zgurets, has stated that the intellectual property for these landing craft are not determined, but that Russia had hoped to gain the contract with China.

At the start of implementation of the contract at the More shipbuilding plant in spring 2011 there was a major accident. According to an official version, due to staff hunger at the company, a human factor led to non-synchronous operation of cranes that were holding one of the Zubr on the building berth. As a result, armor plates of the ship were destroyed and a part of the roof collapsed into the main More workshop. The management assured that the accident did not disrupt the schedule of the contract with China.

Mass media found two more interesting explanations of the accident. The first one was the increasing competition on the part of Russia, whose authorities in the same year officially announced Zubr class ships a purely Russian technology. From this point of view, Ukraine not only has no right to export these ships without the involvement of the Russian company, but is simply incapable of doing so. The accident was apparently testimony to this fact.

The second explanation is the scrupulous eye on More of one of the partners of Dmytro Firtash, who accumulated the debts of the plant for many years in order to obtain the right to re-organize the company. These investors are allegedly interested in re-selling More to Russians bargaining for new preferences in the gas business for themselves. Besides that, according to this version these investors are allegedly interested in the neighboring JSC Prymorets, the leader on the Ukrainian market in the production of yachts and motor boats. From this point of view, the accident was instrumental in showing that More has a bright future.

All these versions have not been confirmed in 2012, seeing as the contract with China is being executed and the plant is operating. It seems that the official version of the accident, which was dictated by the human factor, can be trusted for now as the argument that chronic under-financing of the defense industry by the government led to a critical point with the outflow of qualified personnel from the industry.

On such a backdrop, accidents are a consistent pattern, because qualified dock workers leave the country to work in Europe, where the salaries of their colleagues are five-six times higher than those of machine engineers in Ukraine.



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Page last modified: 20-04-2014 18:37:58 ZULU