On 9 June 2020 at 06:00 Moscow time “Christophe de Margerie”, an icebreaking LNG carrier owned and operated by SCF Group, successfully completed a commercial voyage delivering a cargo of LNG for the Yamal LNG project from the Port of Sabetta (Russia) to the Port of Jiangsu (China).
The voyage saw “Christophe de Margerie” become the first large-capacity cargo vessel to complete an early eastbound transit of the Northern Sea Route in May. According to Sovcomflot, the ice conditions along the eastern sector of the Northern Sea Route remain challenging at this time, with navigation usually commencing only in July.
The voyage from Sabetta to Jiangsu took 21 days to complete, during which the LNG carrier covered 6,047 nautical miles at an average speed of 11.7 knots.
Delivering a similar cargo of LNG from Yamal to China via the Suez Canal would take an average of 34 days. Thus, the NSR transit enabled cutting the voyage time by over a third.
The transit has provided extensive information about the ice conditions along the eastern part of the NSR, which will prove valuable when planning transportation solutions for future industrial projects in the Arctic and designing future generations of Arctic vessels, both icebreakers and cargo ships of high ice class, Sovcomflot said in a statement.