Novatek has reported that two Arc7 ice-class LNG tankers “Vladimir Rusanov” and “Eduard Toll” are completing the Northern Sea Route passage via the Eastern direction.
The “Vladimir Rusanov” has passed the Northern Sea Route and arrived at the Bering Strait, while the “Eduard Toll” has entered open water in the Chukchi Sea. Both the tankers were loaded at the port of Sabetta with LNG produced by Yamal LNG and are now heading towards the Chinese port of Jiangsu Rudong.
The ice-covered part of the route was passed in just 9 days with no icebreaking support, thus confirming the outstanding ice-breaking capabilities of the Arc7 ice-class vessels.
Novatek’s Chairman of Management Board Leonid Mikhelson noted: «We are happy that the Arc7 ice-class tankers with LNG produced by our Yamal LNG project opened this year’s summer navigational period on the Northern Sea Route. These shipments were the first voyages with Russian LNG via the Northern Sea Route without escort of an icebreaker. Moreover, they mark the start of regular LNG shipments via the Northern Sea Route, which was only made possible due to the unique characteristics of ice-class LNG carriers developed for NOVATEK to serve the Arctic projects”.
The “Eduard Toll” is the first LNG tanker in the series of six ordered by Teekay for the Yamal LNG project in a consortium with China LNG Shipping (CLNG), the vessel loaded its first LNG shipment in Sabetta in January this year.
The “Vladimir Rusanov”, the first gas carrier in the series of three ordered for Yamal LNG in cooperation with China COSCO Shipping Corporation, took on board its first shipment in Sabetta in March.
These are not the first LNG shipments from Sabetta that are designated for customers in the East. To start with, the very first shipment from Yamal was also initially planned for the Asian market, to China, later plans changed, it was reported that the gas was sold to the trading subsidiary of Petronas.
Novatek started serving its long-term contracts since April 1, 2018, until then Yamal-produces LNG was sold in the spot market. Over 95% of all the gas to be produced by Yamal LNG during the coming 20 years has been contracted to Asian customers.