Kommersant, May 18, 2001, p. 1
Igor Spassky, Director of the Rubin Design Bureau, and Mikhail Barskov, Deputy Commander of the Russian Navy for Armament, are to sign a contract with the Dutch company Mammoet on May 18, to raise the Kursk nuclear submarine. (…)
Russia refused the services of the international consortium, which consists of the Norwegian branch of the US company Halliburton, and Dutch companies Heerema Contractors and Smit Tak on May 17. The Rubin design bureau has been working on the project for raising the Kursk with these companies, which have broad experience in raising diverse objects from the seabed for a half a year. However, Rubin has not managed to reach an agreement with them.
The terms of the contract have not yet been announced. According to the newspaper Kommersant, Mammoet has agreed to Moscow’s conditions to start the operation without an advance payment against the government’s guarantees and not to demand compensation for possible damages. In addition, Mammoet has agreed to raise the submarine at a low price (according to Kommersant, Russia has received a discount of around $50 million).
It is not quite clear yet what project will be used during the operation. Lars Walder, a representative of Smit Tak, stated in an interview with Interfax yesterday that he objects to the use of the project prepared by the consortium. He stated that, “the project contains know-how created by our company, and its use is illegal without our permission”. However, Kommersant sources do not rule out participation by Halliburton in the operation in the Barents Sea, and Russia will have certain rights to use the project prepared by the international consortium.