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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tatarstan Unveils Tanker Project

RThe semi-autonomous republic of Tatarstan in central Russia is considering building several river/sea-class tankers by the end of the century to improve its oil export system, a top official said Wednesday. "Our aim is two-fold," Artur Yevtyukin, responsible for the project at the cabinet of ministers, said by telephone from Kazan. The first project would be to build 19 or 20 tankers in the republic's own shipyards within the next few years. The second project would allow Tatarstan, with the help of a possible foreign loan, to order other tankers abroad. On the whole, Tatarstan projects fitting out a "minimum" of 40 tankers by the end of the century, Yevtyukin said. "We are at the moment looking for a Western loan which would allow us to carry out this project," he said. The first vessel, to be built at the Gorky shipyard, in the city of Zelenodolsk, about 25 kilometers west of the capital Kazan, will be launched in May next year. It will be able to transport up to 2,900 tons of freight by river and 4,400 tons by sea. A second vessel should be built and brought into service by mid-1996. It will transport up to 3,500 tons of freight along the Volga river and 5,000 tons by sea. The Zelenodolsk shipyard's capacity is currently four tankers a year. But Interfax news agency said it could be increased to 12 vessels, provided the plant receives financial support from the republic's budget and foreign companies. The tankers will transport mainly oil products to St. Petersburg or Novorossiisk. From there they will be able to head, without transhipment, for Mediterranean or Baltic ports.