Gas Giants to Invest in Flagging Shipbuilder

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that construction at the Zvezda shipbuilding complex in the Far East is running 14 months behind schedule and will require a consortium of investors to bring it up to speed.

Rosneft head Igor Sechin proposed the plan at a meeting between government officials and representatives from the state-owned oil and gas giants Gazprom and Rosneft.

"The speed of vessel construction does not correspond to the aims dictated by the development of offshore fields," Sechin told RIA-Novosti, adding that Rosneft and Gazprombank would both participate in the consortium.

There was also a proposal to transfer control of civil shipbuilding to Rosneft, Rogozin said, confirming reports from Kommersant last week.

"For us it is a blessing, because now we will be able to rely not only on the budget, but on investments as well," the deputy prime minister said.

The project is currently under the control of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, which has been heavily criticized for delays in production. Andrei Dyachkov, the former president of the corporation, was fired in May following censure from Rogozin.

The full project, which is supposed to be completed by 2020, includes the construction of tankers with a capacity of 350 thousand cubic meters, liquified natural gas tankers, ice vessels and components of offshore platforms.