Biggest Russian Submarine Builder Closed Down… Temporarily

Publish date: September 4, 1998

Written by: Igor Kudrik

The biggest Russian nuclear submarine builder, Sevmash shipyard, located in Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk County, suspended all operations and dismissed all employees yesterday. They were sent on compulsory vacation until September 7. The decision was taken by shipyard management in fear of social unrest.

In the morning of September 2, the workers of workshop no. 50, engaged in the construction of barges for foreign customers, gathered to demand back salaries from shipyard management. Out of fear that the protest would spread to the rest of the yard, where the situation has been hot for the last few weeks, the Sevmash management sent all employees on a compulsory vacation until September 7. All operations are suspended; electricity and water supply systems are disconnected. Today, it was reported that telephone communications at Sevmash are also switched off. The locally based fire team has warned the management that in case of a fire alarm they would not be able to react promptly. The only personnel who remain at the yard are guards.

David Pashaev, general director of Sevmash, is currently in Moscow trying to obtain the release of previously allotted funding from the Finance and Defense ministries.

Sevmash yard is primary engaged in the construction and decommissioning of nuclear-powered submarines. The plant is currently building three boats; one forth generation strategic Borey-class, one Severodvinsk-class "multi purpose" prototype submarine, and one Akula-class submarine. During the past years, the yard has been working on domestic and foreign commercial contracts focusing mostly on equipment and installations for the oil and gas industry.