Speech at the launch of first stage of Zvezda shipyard 2016-09-01 09:00:00 Bolshoi Kamen President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, I want to congratulate you on the launch of the first production facilities at the Zvezda shipyard. It is a major step towards the implementation of this project of landmark significance for the Russian Far East and the country as a whole. A large shipyard will be built in the Bolshoi Kamen Bay to manufacture a variety of medium- and heavy-lift commercial vessels and marine equipment, primarily oil and gas tankers, components for [floating] drilling platforms, supply ships and seismic vessels. We must certainly take our partners’ achievements into account (I will speak more about this later), cutting-edge technology and, of course, their experience in building ships for difficult Arctic conditions, primarily ice conditions. As the company’s director general said, we have every reason to believe that the new facility will be up to or even better than our main international rivals in terms of labour productivity, or at least many aspects of this indicator. Of course, we will primarily build vessels for domestic use, for offshore mineral projects in the Russian Far East and Arctic regions and for developing the Northern Sea Route as a global transport route. We know very well that not only Russia but also its neighbours have big plans for this route, which is the most efficient route for transporting cargo between Europe and Asia. Victory at tenders for commercial shipbuilding projects must go to Russian shipyards, such as Zvezda, which applies the best domestic experience and achievements in building ice-class vessels and which is developing promising technological alliances with the leading international shipbuilding companies. I am convinced that our Far Eastern shipbuilding companies will turn out competitive quality products and that the new shipyard will become successful and will provide a powerful boost to the development of the Russian Far East. I would like to say that the construction of this modern high-tech facility is part of Rosneft comprehensive strategy in the Far East, which aims to build up oil and gas production and processing facilities and also to support research, implement social projects and create infrastructure for quality growth. Taken together, this is evidence of a fundamental and responsible approach to business, which should become the reference point for other large Russian and foreign companies ready to invest in the Russian Far East and its future success. I wish all the best to the staff of Zvezda and Rosneft, as well as to their partners and to all our foreign friends. Thank you very much.