Kalle Id reports
Several Russian news sources have reported this week that Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation (Obedinënnaya Sudostroitelnaya Korporatsija, OSK) will sell 100% of its shareholding in the Finland-based Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, instead of the 55% previously reported, by the end of 2018.
Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday, OSK President Alexei Rakhmanov told media representatives that the previous negotiations to sell 55% of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard to the Croatia-based Kermas Group have failed. Instead, OSK are looking now to sell Arctech in its entirety before the end of the current year. According to Rakhmanov, “great difficulties” will follow if a buyer is not found.
Rakhmanov stated that negotiations are ongoing with three parties: the aforementioned Kermas, with whom talk have restarted from a clean slate, an unnamed Russian businessman, and an equally unnamed group of Norwegian companies. The schedule of the planned sale is tight, and Rakhmanov did not elaborate on what the “great difficulties” he mentioned would be.
Arctech currently has only one ship in its orderbook, an Arctic LNG tanker due for delivery later this year. While the Helsinki shipyard is one of most notable builders of modern cruise and ferry tonnage, it last delivered a passenger vessel in 2009, having since specialised in icebreakers, especially for the Arctic areas. The yard’s recent attempts of re-entering passenger shipbuilding have so far been unsuccessful, in large part due to Arctech suffering from the sanctions placed on its owner United Shipbuilding Corporation by the United States following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.