SCF’s ice-breaking LNG carrier arrives in South Korea, completes Northern Sea Route transit

Image: Total

Sovcomflot’s LNG tanker Christophe de Margerie, the world’s first ice-breaking LNG vessel, has arrived in South Korea completing its landmark voyage which included a transit through the Northern Sea Route.

The 172,600-cbm LNG carrier is the first of 15 ice-class tankers built to ship cargoes from Novatek’s giant Yamal LNG project in the Russian Arctic.

The vessel loaded a cargo at Statoil’s Hammerfest liquefaction plant in Norway on July 26 and arrived at South Korea’s Boryeong LNG terminal on August 16, according to the marine data provider VesselsValue.

Christophe de Margerie entered the Cape Zhelaniya on July 31 and left the Nothern Sea Route area on August 6. The passage took six and a half days and it is a record for transiting the route, a statement by the Northern Sea Route Administration said.

Christophe de Margerie is also the first unescorted merchant LNG vessel to take this route, which makes it possible to reach Asia via the Bering Strait in some 15 days versus 30 days via the Suez Canal, according to France’s Total that is a partner in Yamal LNG.

The $27 billion Yamal LNG project will be built in three phases which are scheduled for start-up in 2017, 2018, and 2019, respectively.

The three-train Yamal LNG plant, designed to produce about 16.5 million tonnes per year, will liquefy natural gas from the South Tambey field on the Yamal Peninsula in Russia’s West Siberia.

Russia’s largest independent natural gas producer, Novatek has already started commissioning activities on the first liquefaction unit and expects to launch production at the LNG export plant, Russia’s second, by the end of this year.

Novatek is the operator and holds a 50.1 percent stake in Yamal LNG. China’s CNPC and Total of France have a 20 percent stake, each, while China’s Silk Road Fund has a 9.9 percent stake in the LNG project.


LNG World News Staff

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