President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I would like to congratulate all of you, both veterans and the current stuff, on the first stage of the project. In fact, we are attending the launch of a new facility. It is a very big step in the revival of shipbuilding in the Russian Far East and, in particular, in Primorye Territory.
You know that this project will be implemented in two stages, one lasting from 2012 to 2019 and the other from 2018 to 2020–2022, with medium-lift ships built at the first stage and heavy-lift ships at the second stage.
This is the first but crucial step in the development of commercial shipbuilding in the Russian Far East, and not only commercial shipbuilding at that. Today we will discuss ways to adjust the plant to build equipment for the Russian Navy in the Far East.
The construction of a floating dock for Vilyuchinsk has been launched. Everyone is aware of its importance for Primorye Territory, the Russian Far East and the country as a whole. We have practically never built such vessels before, especially large vessels such as will be built at the project’s second stage.
There is every reason to believe in the success of this project. We provide the funds and will do so regularly. It is a very expensive project. Of course, we need to keep a close eye on it, in particular, the work organisation.
When the facility becomes fully operational, it will have a staff of 7,500. Taken together with their families, the plant will provide livelihood for at least 14,000 people, but I hope there will be more. Therefore, major social programmes must be implemented here.
In a word, I congratulate you on the first stage. I hope that we will complete this project with your contribution and with the veteran workers’ assistance.
Good luck, and thank you.