Fight for access to sea: Gorky factory to become nucleus of Ak Bars shipbuilding corporation

The shipbuilding corporation will be created by the end of the first half of 2018, and Ak Bars Holding and the Tatarstan government will become its major shareholders

Fight for access to sea: Gorky factory to become nucleus of Ak Bars shipbuilding corporation Photo: Roman Khasayev

The creation of Ak Bars shipbuilding corporation, which will become a real rival of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, will be officially announced by the end of the first half of the year. On 13 February, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov approved the concept of its creation based on the restructuring plan of the Zelenodolsk Factory named after Gorky. At the same time, it's admitted the hypothetical integration of Zaliv factory from Kerchi will bring more risks than income.

Mistakhov was charged with growing to 100 billion rubles by 2025

Before the beginning of the annual final session of the Zelenodolsk council, Tatarstan president Rustam Minnikhanov visited the basic enterprise – the Zelenodolsk Factory named after Gorky, which is part of Ak Bars. In 2017, the factory augmented revenue to 36 billion rubles, which couldn't help but gladden the officials of the republic and municipality. The factory became a constant donor of the latter.

However, the reformation concept of the shipbuilding enterprise offered by Director General Renat Mistakhov in order to ''augment muscles'' in the Russian market was the main topic on the agenda.

''We see advantages of the union and offer to create one shipbuilding corporation with submission to Ak Bars Holding,'' the director general announced. He says it will include four areas: design of ships, shipbuilding, production of spare parts, repair of ships and maintenance. A strategic task to reach a production volume of up to 100 billion rubles by 2025 is set for the united company. ''It will enable us to achieve certain effects in both personnel and production and technology efficiency,'' Mistakhov stressed.

In 2017, the factory augmented revenue to 36 billion rubles

Meanwhile, the main burden will be on the tandem of designers and shipbuilders. According to Mistakhov's idea, the enterprise is to make ships with a high displacement for military and commercial customers. At the same time, the factory aims to expand the production of civil ships from 10 to 30%. A no less grandiose task is set for the employees who select components. Now the share of components made inside the Zelenodolsk ship is 15%, while it will need to reach 50%. In brief, the concept is aimed at the future, and there is a pile of plans.

President invited to Caspian Sea

The Tatarstan president saw the concept had nothing impossible. On the contrary, he thought they could also exceed 100 billion rubles. ''I think it's strategically correct that we're creating a head structure. It will enable to accumulate orders at 100 billion rubles and more,'' he supported the director of the enterprise. In addition, Rustam Minnikhanov advised thinking about outsourcing of the production of components and separation of military and civil shipbuilding into different divisions. In his opinion, now it's important to carefully study the market and quickly react to its demands: ''We need to try and join the flow, volumes, not one-time orders with high costs.''

Speaking of service, the president gave to understand it's time to reach the Caspian Sea and create a life service base of military ships. From his point of view, they need to establish contacts with the Ministry of Defence and assume responsibility for repair. ''What do many companies live on, in general? They provide service, they don't sell cars. And we need to build such a system,'' he instructed Mistakhov. ''It's time. We could have done this before but we didn't have the intellectual part. It would be unprofitable without the Zelenodolsk Design Bureau,'' Minnikhanov explained why they didn't rush to create Ak Bars Shipbuilding Bureau.

The president gave to understand it's time to reach the Caspian Sea and create a maintenance base of a military ship's life cycle

Ak Bars to navigate in summer

After the meeting ended, Director General of the factory Renat Mistakhov told Realnoe Vremya when the corporation would say about itself in the Russian market. ''We agreed in Ak Bars Holding in January and in the republic today, now we need to go and compulsorily agree with the federal authorities because we deal with state procurement. Then we will create the road map to prepare all necessary licences. In fact, the staff timetable, goals and tasks have already been created. But I think legally we will say about ourselves in the first half of the year. The corporation will be created as public joint-stock company,'' he said.

The corporation will be creates as public joint-stock company,'' said Renat Mistakhov

He says Ak Bars Holding will be the dominating shareholder with 51% of shares. The Tatarstan government will hold one of the biggest stock, but its share is still under discussion. Meanwhile, the corporation will also have private shareholders. ''We find it very comfortable to work with mixed ownership when there are state and private capitals. We wouldn't be completely private because we carry out a state defence order, we work within the framework of the republic and the country. It's much easier to work when the country is our shareholder – they see and control the work,'' Mistakhov said. But the Russian Federation won't be in the authorised capital but hold the stock in certain enterprises that will be part of it.

As for the corporation's configuration, he noted the inclusion of Ak Bars Metal, Electropribor in it is discussed. But the enterprise's director doubted Zaliv shipbuilding factory from Kerchi needed to be attracted to the holding. ''We are unlikely to go somewhere due to international sanctions because today we work with foreign suppliers, export, and this is will be unprofitable for us. We don't control this factory. We have factories we want to reach with access to the sea, not to build river but sea ships,'' Mistakhov concluded.

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By Luiza Ignatyeva. Photo: Maksim Platonov