Work has started at the Severnaja shipyard in Russia on a series of ten 5,000 dwt river-seagoing dry cargo vessels. Keel-laying for the first vessel took place in St Petersburg in January this year. St Apostle Andrei will head the Valday-type of ships into service and is scheduled to be delivered in early 2002.The shipowner carried out much of the design work for the newbuilding project in conjunction with Vympel design bureau. Notably, the vessels will have river/sea draughts of 3.6m/4.2m to allow cargo to be transported from virtually all river ports in Russia to any European ports.
The vessels will be built to Russian Register (RS) navigation mark ‘1’ notation, permitting navigation in open seas with an allowable distance of 400 miles between places of refuge. The vessels’ three holds will be fitted with MacGREGOR’s foldtite type hatch covers, for which MacGREGOR has already delivered the first set of key components and technical documentation to Severnaja. The company faced stiff competition in securing the hatch covers order, but its strong local service performance was cited by the shipowner as a winning factor, along with the fact that the owner had previous positive experience of MacGREGOR equipment.