Photo: Illustration only; Sovcomflot’s arctic LNG tanker Christophe de Margerie; Courtesy of Sovcomflot

Russia returns to plans for first batch of LNG-powered icebreakers

Russia plans on building LNG-powered icebreakers to serve the Arctic Sea route.

Russia to build its first batch of LNG-powered icebreakers
Illustration only; Sovcomflot’s arctic LNG tanker Christophe de Margerie; Courtesy of Sovcomflot

On 23 July, Reuters reported that top executives announced the news last week. The government has appointed Rosatom, Russia’s atomic energy corporation, as the state operator of the Northern Sea Route.

Director general of Rosatom Alexei Likhachev said that by the end of the year a decision on the possible construction of two to four medium-sized LNG-powered icebreakers will be made.

Russia has the world’s only fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers and it wants to build up its fleet to accommodate climate change.

The country’s largest independent natural gas producer Novatek signed an agreement with Rosatom to develop LNG-powered icebreakers in 2018 but those plans were put on hold.

Novatek has several LNG projects in the Arctic, like the Arctic LNG 2.

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LNG-powered icebreakers cost half the price of build nuclear-powered icebreakers, which cost around $814 million.