Novatek Considering LNG Carrier Order at Zvezda

Russia’s Novatek, the majority shareholder in Yamal LNG project, is looking into a possible order of a new batch of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers at compatriot Zvezda Shipyard.

“Possible order at the Zvezda Shipyard is in the preliminary study stage. At this point, we cannot say anything concrete,” Novatek’s Press Secretary Yury Melihov told World Maritime News.

The comment was made as a reaction to Russian media reports saying that Novatek had filed a request to Zvezda Shipyard for the construction of 15 tankers intended for Arctic LNG2 facility, a second liquefaction plant planned by Novatek in the Arctic.

The new carriers would be an addition to the existing 15 Arc7 ice-class LNG carriers Novatek and Sovcomflot had ordered at South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). Christophe de Margerie, the world’s first ice-breaking LNG tanker, also the first from DSME’s batch, has been delivered to its owner Sovcomflot earlier this year.

Based on the latest update, the first two shipments of LNG from the Yamal LNG project are scheduled to be transported in November. Four more shipments are to follow in December, and it is planned that in 2018 up to 10 gas carriers would transport LNG from the project within one month.

Yamal LNG is aimed at developing the giant onshore South Tambey gas and condensate field with the construction of a liquefaction plant. Ultimately, close to 16.5 million tons of LNG a year are planned to transit through the port of Sabetta, built specifically for the project.

The shareholders of Yamal LNG are Novatek (50.1%), French Total (20%), China’s CNPC (20%), and the Silk Road Fund (9.9%).

Separately, earlier this week, Novatek announced that it has signed a cooperation agreement with the Kamchatka Territorial Government on building a sea terminal facility for reloading LNG from Arctic ice-class tankers to conventional LNG tankers at the East Coast of Kamchatka Peninsula.

 “The construction of a sea terminal facility for reloading operations will optimize the logistics of LNG supplies from the Arctic region, stimulate usage of the Northern Sea Route, and create a new LNG supply hub for Asian-Pacific regional consumers,” Chairman of NOVATEK’s Management Board Leonid Mikhelson said.

Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex plans to launch production of gas carrier vessels as one of the priorities of the production program of the shipyard. To that end, the shipbuilder has already teamed up with French Engineering Company Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT) on technical evaluation of the company’s potential to build membrane systems for LNG storage with further acquisition of the GTT license for gas-carrier construction.

In addition, the joint venture of Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co., LLC Zvezda-Hyundai signed a contract with Lazurit Design Bureau for development of design documentation for building Aframax type tankers using gas engine fuel.

World Maritime News Staff

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