A deal has been struck between Rosneft, the Zvezda yard and federal port development company Rosmorport which includes the construction of an icebreaker.

The agreement also includes the option contract on another three vessels of the kind, the oil company informs. In addition, the Zvezda yard will build several ice-class support vessels for the company.

The agreement comes as President Vladimir Putin visited the yard last week in connection with the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

The new icebreakers will have a power of 6.4 MW and a draft of only three meters, which will allow them to operate in the shallow waters along the Russian Arctic coast. According to Rosneft, the ships will be used for escort of vessels to and from Russian sea ports, including sea terminals which are operated by the company.

It is the first major construction order of the kind for the new yard. The contract will allow the shipbuilders at Zvezda to generate valuable experiences in construction of icebreakers and ice-class vessels, Rosneft says.

Several oil and gas support vessels are already under construction at the yard. Among them is the modern multi-purpose and ice-class ships  Svyataya Maria, Vladimir Monomakh, Katarina Velikaya and Aleksandr Nevsky, Vesti reports.

The oil company is itself a major investor in the project. According to company President Igor Sechin, Rosneft's total investments in the construction of the shipyard will amount to 145 billion rubles (€2.1 billion).

It was Putin himself who in 2013 gave the orders for the construction of the shipbuilding center.

Zvezda will be Russia's largest and most modern civilian shipyard. The full complex is due to stand ready by 2024. It is built in Bolshoy Kamen, the industrial town located near Vladivostok on Russia's far eastern coast.