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LNG World Shipping

Ice-class LNG tanker Rudolf Samoylovich makes first China delivery through Northern Sea Route

Sun 25 Nov 2018 by Selwyn Parker

Ice-class LNG tanker <i>Rudolf Samoylovich</i> makes first China delivery through Northern Sea Route
Rudolf Samoylovich has made the first unaccompanied crossing to China through the Northern Sea Route by an LNG tanker (Image courtesy Teekay)

Novatek’s 299-m long Arc7 ice-class LNG carrier, Rudolf Samoylovich, has delivered the first shipment from the Yamal LNG plant to China National Offshore Oil Corporation, taking an apparently untroubled route through the Northern Sea without an escort of icebreakers.

According to Novatek chief executive Leonid Mikhelson, it was the first time an LNG shipment of this kind has been delivered through the Northern Sea Route in an easterly direction. The voyage was also made towards the end of the seasonal navigation period.

“The cargo was shipped in a very short period of time at a commercially viable speed,” said Mr Mikhelson. He added it was confirmation that competitive LNG deliveries could be made to the main LNG-consuming markets of the Asia Pacific region.

After loading up in late October, the vessel reached the Bering Strait from the Yamal Peninsula in just 7.5 days and took 20 days to berth at the Fujian LNG terminal in China.

Shipments from the Yamal plant have been increasing steadily since its first production train started up in December 2017. They topped the 5M tonnes mark in late September when another Arc7 ice-class vessel, Christophe de Margerie, was loaded up with the 68th cargo. Christophe de Margerie also took the inaugural load in September from the Yamal plant located at Sabetta in Ob Bay.

One of the largest independent gas carriers in Russia, Novatek expects to increase the frequency of deliveries in the coming months as the second LNG train at Yamal gets fully up to speed. Shipments from the second train began in early August.

A third train is being steadily commissioned – in one of the critical pre-startup activities the first firing of a compressor gas turbine was achieved in September, Yamal LNG reports.

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