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First steel cutting ceremony for the second Aframax tanker, 114,000t dwt took place at Zvezda shipyard on the 15th of November.

The ceremony was attended by Rosneft Oil Company CEO Igor Sechin and Acting Governor of Primorsky Region Oleg Kozhemyako.

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The ceremony signaled the beginning of serial production at Zvezda shipyard of modern heavy-tonnage vessels for crude oil and oil products transportation. Aframax tankers will be the first vessels of such type built in the Russian Federation. Launching of the lead tanker is scheduled for 2020.

The keel-laying of the lead vessel was held in the outfitting slipway on September 11, 2018, during a visit of Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation to Zvezda shipyard.

The first steel plates were cut with highly accurate plasma gas cutting machine. The most advanced shipyard in Russia is equipped with high-tech machines and equipment using highly accurate methods of steel marking, welding and cutting, including laser ones. While vessel constructing inspection technologies are used based on noncontact measurements and 3D modeling, along with modern technologies that ensure control of operations at all stages, from documentation development to vessel delivery.

Within the framework of the visit to the shipyard, Igor Sechin and Oleg Kozhemyako watched the operation of equipment in the hull production shop, observed the outfitting slipway, construction sites of the dry dock and Sapphire Azipod Plant. The Company Managing Director and the regional Governor gave special attention to the construction objects of residential districts for the shipyard personnel.

As Igor Sechin said, the start of production of the Aframax vessels is essential to the whole country.

The construction of a modern shipyard of heavy-range shipbuilding is carried out on the basis of the President's instructions. The project involves the construction of production facilities of Zvezda shipbuilding complex, supporting utility infrastructure and housing for employees. The first part of the shipyard's production facilities was commissioned in 2016-2017. The largest dry dock in Russia is being built a year ahead of the schedule. “Having signed contracts for the construction of 25 vessels, Rosneft provided pilot production program for the new shipbuilding complex," - Igor Sechin said.

The chief Executive officer also pointed out that the startup of Aframax vessel production indicates not only the growth of technological, production, personnel potential of the shipbuilding industry, but it is also a matter of national security and independence.

The acting Governor of Primorsky Region Oleg Kozhemyako said that today's event is of great importance for Primorye: just three years after the project kick-off at Zvezda shipbuilding complex, they have already started serial production of the Aframax tankers.

"This is a new era in shipbuilding industry. No one have built such vessels in Russia. And, I am sure that shipbuilders will get all the plans and schedules done, they will deliver the first vessel in time. Further, there will be new orders that will ensure revenues to the regional budget, create new jobs. Currently we see the real work of Zvezda shipyard and Rosneft, making it possible to deal with the instructions of the Russian Federation President ", - noticed Kozhemyako.

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