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New ferries for Sakhalin stalled

Amur Shipyard shifts construction deadlines for the line Vanino - Kholmsk

New ferries for Sakhalin stalled
Photo: Sergey Krasnouhov / RIA News

In September, the Minister for the Development of the Far East, Alexander Kozlov, acknowledged that there were problems with the construction of ferries for the Vanino-Kholmsk line, associated with the increased cost of work, as well as the fact that some production components fall under foreign sanctions. According to the original plans, enshrined in the government decree and contract, new ferries should be commissioned at the end of 2019. Now passengers and cargo on the ferry line between Sakhalin and the mainland are carrying obsolete vessels of the Sakhalin project. Ferries operate the Sakhalin Shipping Company.

EastRussia Help. Two CNF11CPD series ferries have been built since June 2017 of the year at Amursky Shipbuilding Plant PJSC (AES, Khabarovsk Territory). Contracts for vessels placed PJSC "State Transport Leasing Company" (GTLK), the value of each, according to - 4,936 billion rubles. Each project ferry can take at least 32 rail cars or 27 auto trains on the main deck, 12 auto trains on the lower deck and around 9 cars (1,5 tons), as well as 200 passengers: 112 - in cabins, 88 - on the seats in the cabin.

Compared with the existing Sakhalin-series ferries, CNF11CPD can hold twice as many auto trains, has no weather restrictions and can operate in harsh ice conditions. The new vessel will be able to dock several times a day without tugging, move backwards along the constrained water area of ​​the port of Kholmsk for a long time, and due to the high speed of movement (18 nodes against 16,8 nodes at Sakhalinov) will withstand a daily cycle of a circular voyage.

The Vanino-Kholmsk line delivers more than 75% of cargo between the island and the mainland and about 25% of passenger traffic. The problem is that the Sakhalin project ships can carry no more than 100 passengers, and this summer, for security reasons, maximum limits to 8 have been introduced for security considerations for Sakhalin-1985 (9 year of construction) and Sakhalin-1986 (52 year) passengers. In addition to these, the line has a fully operational Sakhalin-10 (1992 year), but its capacity is below CNF11CPD: the Sakhalinov design does not provide for the loading of ferries by road trains in the case of a full load of cars.


For the NEA, the ferry contract is the first order of this kind. The plant does not hide the fact that many issues have to be solved, as they say, “from the wheels”.

"This is practically a head order on which builders quickly, in conjunction with the engineering center of the enterprise, work out and solve problematic issues. In fact, this project is adapted for the NEA. Take, for example, the fact that the size of our building docks does not allow for the assembly of large-scale the traditional way. Therefore, the solution already tested by the NEA was used to assemble the blocks in a closed slipway and then roll them out onto the open slipway for docking and forming the whole ship hull. in such a situation, all services are working smoothly, trying not to break out of the charts, "explained EastRussia in the press service of the company.

The plant added: the construction and design of ferries are almost parallel. The peculiarity is also that the Contractor, the contractor, according to the documentation, must himself look for suppliers of shipboard equipment and saturation, and the developer-designer, according to the characteristics confirmed by the plant, produces drawings and other working documentation to equip the ship. The selection of suppliers is in competition, which also does not speed up the construction procedure.

"At the PEA in October, a meeting was held at which the only issue was discussed: postponement of construction completion and commissioning of the ferries. We have no authority to make any decisions on this issue. Therefore, it was decided to send the appropriate appeal - that is, about rescheduling - to the government RF ", - told the head of the project for the construction of ferries Alexander Merinov, EastRussia.


If the delivery dates for the ferries for the Vanino-Kholmsk line, the main transport artery connecting Sakhalin to the mainland, are postponed, this will become a really serious problem. The capacity of the Sakhalin ferries, which are currently operating at the ferry, is not enough for the modern needs of the regions. In parallel with the construction of ferries, the authorities are working on the issue of upgrading the port infrastructure of the ferries. Reconstruction of the ports will be phased in three shifts. Catching up with its completion should be before 1 December 2019 of the year - then, as planned, the first of the ferries should be launched, say in the Ministry of Oriental Development.

However, for the time being, the infrastructure, which is unable to cope with cargo and passenger traffic on the Vanino-Kholmsk line, leads to conflicts between carriers. This year, Russian Railways filed a number of lawsuits against Sakhalin Shipping Company, the operator of the ferries on the line. Claims of railway workers to the shipping company are reduced to the requirements of fees for the provision of public roads, on which the cars that were supposed to go from Vanino to Sakhalin on ferries, were idle.

For simple wagons "waiting to be transferred to the ferry," for example, from April 30 to June 4 2018, Russian Railways in a lawsuit filed this summer, tried to recover 88,72 rubles from the shipping company in thousand rubles. The plaintiff referred to the fact that the station or port is not entitled to refuse to accept cargoes within the planned average daily or condensed transshipment rate per day. The court, however, refused the lawsuit, explaining that in this case both the owner of the infrastructure (public ways) and the carrier were Russian Railways itself, which means that the railroad workers should not have paid anyone and suffered no damage.

The subtlety is that the law on intermodal transport, which is the carriage of railway cars, first by public routes to Vanino, then by ferry to Kholmsk and then again by public routes to the final point on Sakhalin, has not been worked out in detail until now. The Civil Code for the settlement of disputes by direct mixed message refers to the norms of the relevant federal law, but it has not yet been adopted.

Certain contradictions exist in the transportation structure. In good weather, Sakhalin class ferries are capable of producing about 15 flights per month, and during periods of peak load on the ferry line for passenger transportation, one of the ships of the Sakhalin Shipping Company also rises. And yet, due to repairs of outdated ships, the volume of traffic has decreased in recent years.

In the 2008 year, according to Morcentre-TEK, the ferry line transported 1,6 million tons of cargo and 66,17 thousand passengers. By 2012, cargo figures rose to 1,7 million tons, and passengers dropped to 45 thousand. The annual report of Sakhalin Shipping Company for 2017 a year draws an even more contrasting picture: in general, the company transported 1,82 million tons and 34,7 thousand passengers, but the share of ferries in freight traffic is steadily falling.

Information on the ferry traffic Vanino - Kholmsk - Vanino:
Name of cargo
Dynamics of 2017 / 2016,%
Circular flights completed
Transported goods (net)
thousand tons
All wagons transported
16 399
13 430
41 318
34 723
Cars total
275 053
268 426
Cars total
a / m
15 992
15 632

At the same time, if you focus on the ferry transport on passengers, there will be underloading on cars, and this will "hit the economy even harder," said Gennady Kotlikov, deputy general director of Daltransservice JSC.

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