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Ice-breaking LNG carrier readied for Northern Route

Specially designed to operate on the Northern Route to Russia’s Yamal LNG project above the Arctic circle, the ARC7 ice-breaking LNG carrier Nikolay Urvantsev was named at a ceremony held at South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co (DSME)

Jointly owned by Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines and China’s COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited, the LNGC was named to honour the famous Russian Arctic explorer and geologist Nikolay Urvantsev. Nikolay Urvantsev is the sister vessel of Vladimir Rusanov and Vladimir Vize, which entered service in 2018 under a long-term charter contract to transport LNG for the Yamal LNG Project 1 and 2.

With a capacity of 172,000 m3, Nikolay Urvantsev will begin service for the Yamal LNG project following its delivery in July by DSME. The LNGC has an overall length of 299 m, beam of 50 m and draught of 12 m.

MOL made an official decision to participate in the Yamal LNG project in July 2014, and construction of the vessels commenced in May 2016. To manage plan approvals on the vessels’ design and construction, MOL worked closely with DSME, Yamal LNG project personnel, and other operators of the ice-breaking LNG carriers in the project, as well as consultants. The vessel not only has a high ice-breaking capability of up to 2.1 m, but also has a double-acting, ice-breaking system to enable the vessel to navigate astern and extreme cold specifications designed to withstand temperatures of -52°C.

In addition to the ice-breaking LNG carriers, four conventional LNG carriers, destined for the Yamal LNG project announced in June 2017, are being constructed.

Yamal LNG has three trains with a total nameplate capacity of 17.4 mta of LNG. It produced 9.0M tonnes of LNG and 0.6M tonnes of stable gas condensate in H1 2019. All three LNG trains were running above nameplate capacity in H1 2019. A fourth train will enter service later this year.

For the same period, 126 LNG tanker shipments were dispatched. Most of the LNG was transhipped from the ice-class LNG carriers to conventional vessels in Norway and delivered to the markets. From the start of transhipment in November 2018, 123 ship-to-ship transfer operations have been conducted.

Yamal LNG shareholders include Russia’s PAO Novatek (50.1%), France’s Total (20%), China’s CNPC (20%), and the Silk Road Fund (9.9%).

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