Icelandic naval architect Nautic is the first overseas company to establish itself on the Russian market for vessel design with the acquisition of a controlling shareholding in St. Petersburg company LLC Shiptech Engineering.
Nautic Design has already been selected by fishing company Norebo for a series of new concept stern trawlers, replacing older fishing vessels dating back a generation with highly versatile ships capable of operating as stable working platforms under almost all conditions, and carrying sophisticated processing decks able to deliver the highest quality fish products.
Russian shipping regulations tend to be more rigid and demanding than in western countries, and overseas vessels designers frequently team up with a local company that has the specialist skills to ensure that designs meet these exacting requirements.
According to Nautic managing director Alfreð Tulinius, establishing the company in St Petersburg was the obvious route, not least as Nautic is not intending to be there for the short term. LLC Shiptech Engineering is to be renamed Nautic Russia, and it currently has a staff of twelve.
‘We will be increasing the workforce as required, depending on the work to be done,’ Alfreð Tulinius said.
‘We expect the staff at Nautic Russia to be increased to twenty, and that we we will have around thirty people in all,’ he said. ‘The majority of the staff are young and highly trained, and these are exactly the kind of people we want to attract.’
‘There is a tremendous step change in vessel design taking place here. No new fishing vessels of this size have been built in Russia for almost thirty years and while there is a great deal of talent and skill at Russian shipyards, they have been left behind as the fishing fleet has not been renewed. What we are seeing about to take place is a large-scale technology transfer as the latest design techniques and fishing industry technology migrates to Russia,’ he said.
‘This is a huge step for both Nautic and for the Knarr Maritime member companies which have a huge amount to offer the Russian fishing sector at the process of fleet renewal gathers speed.’
He commented that work will soon progress on the designs for the Norebo trawlers and the first plates are expected to be cut at the Severnaya shipyard in St Petersburg late this summer, and rapid progress is expected once the first first keels have been laid.