Chinese-made hulls for Russian floating nuclear plants set for 2023 delivery
- Hulls were outsourced because of high workload at local shipbuilders and tight deadlines, Russian news agency Sputnik reports
- Russia built the world’s first floating nuclear power plant, the Akademik Lomonosov, in 2019 and is building more to serve remote area
Published: 5:36pm, 2 Sep, 2022
The Russian-built Akademik Lomonosov sets off on an Arctic voyage in 2019. Photo: Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation
The Chinese-made hulls for two Russian floating nuclear power plants are expected to be delivered in just over a year’s time.
The hulls were outsourced because of the high workload at local shipbuilding companies and tight deadlines, Russian state news agency Sputnik reported on Tuesday, as the two sides held a keel-laying ceremony for the vessels in China.
Shanghai-based Wison (Nantong) Heavy Industries Co won the contract to build the hulls for Rosatom, a Russian state nuclear energy corporation, with a US$226 million bid last year.
Key work including the installation of reactors will be carried out in Russia once the barges – measuring 140 metres by 30 metres (460 feet by 98 feet) and weighing almost 10,000 tonnes – are delivered in late 2023, according to Sputnik.
China’s latest five-year plan, announced in 2021, included a commitment to promote the construction of floating nuclear power plants.
Energy and technology, including nuclear power, are among the main areas for cooperation between China and Russia – which reiterated their “no-limits” partnership earlier this year.
In June, senior Russian diplomats said the relationship between the two countries is better than an alliance and has withstood the pressure triggered by the war in Ukraine.
China has rejected calls to condemn Russia’s military action in Ukraine and also criticised sanctions imposed on Moscow following its invasion of the former Soviet state in late February.
Russia completed the world’s first floating nuclear power plant, the Akademik Lomonosov, in 2019 and is building more to provide power to remote areas of the country.
The two new floating nuclear power plants will serve the Baimsky mining and processing plant in Russia’s far eastern region of Chukotka.
They will be the first of four floating nuclear power units with a capacity of 106 megawatts each expected to operate in the waters of Cape Nagloynyn in Chukotka.
Coal power plants typically have generation capacities of 500MW, or half the 1,000MW produced by nuclear plants.