On Wednesday, January 15, a few hours before his resignation, then-Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered to allocate 127 billion rubles ($2.06 billion) from the budget for the construction of the world's largest nuclear icebreaker "the Leader."
The decree, signed by Medvedev, was published on Thursday on the official Kremlin’s website of legal information.
The ship will be built at the shipyard Zvezda in Russia’s Primorsky Krai. The shipyard is owned by the consortium of Rosneft, Rosneftegaz and Gazprombank. The work is expected to be completed in 2027.
Project 10510 "the Leader" will reportedly become the world's most powerful icebreaker and should provide year-round navigation along the Northern Sea Route and conduct expeditions to the Arctic.
In particular, the vessel should facilitate year-round export of liquefied natural gas from Novatek projects in Yamal and the Gydan Peninsula. Russian officials also expect that "the Leader" would help with navigation along the Northern Sea Route between Europe and Asia.
Rosneft has until mid-March to start developing the design documentation. The company has agreed to pay for the initial stage of construction at its own expense, Kommersant reported last year.