A keel-laying ceremony was held at the Zvezda shipbuilding complex, in Russia’s Far Eastern Primorsky Region, for the new icebreaking LNG carrier ordered by SCF Group for the Arctic LNG 2.
This is the first vessel in a series of 14 new icebreaking LNG carriers ordered by SMART LNG, a joint venture between Sovcomflot and Novatek.
In total, Zvezda is contracted to build 15 such carriers, with the lead vessel in the series ordered by SCF directly and the remaining sister ships ordered by SMART LNG.
The vessel is scheduled for delivery in 2023. The keel has been laid in line with the contractual schedule.
Vessels of the new series are designed for year-round LNG transportation in the challenging conditions of the Northern Sea Route. They are assigned the highest ice class, Arc7.
According to Sovcomflot, they will have increased icebreaking capabilities and manoeuvrability in ice compared with the first generation of icebreaking LNG carriers (‘Christophe de Margerie’ series). The delivery of these new LNG carriers will help facilitate the growth of cargo traffic along the Northern Sea Route and allow year-round navigation along its eastern part.
The commissioning of the LNG carriers will allow for the expedited implementation of national plans to boost cargo traffic along the NSR and to provide year-round navigation in the eastern sector of the Arctic.
The new series of gas carriers are 300 metres long, 48.8 metres wide, and will have a cargo capacity of 172,600 m3. The propulsion system includes three azimuth propulsion units, with a total capacity of 45 MW. All 15 vessels will operate under the Russian flag.