PAO NOVATEK (NOVATEK) announced that the Arc7 ice-class Arctic LNG tanker “Christophe de Margerie” chartered by the Yamal LNG project successfully completed an independent passage along the Eastbound part of the Northern Sea Route (“NSR”) on the 16th January at 20:20 MSK, having reached the Bering Strait in 11 days with an average safe speed of 9.6 knots. The “Christophe de Margerie” was subsequently followed by a similar LNG tanker “Nikolay Yevgenov”, which is currently completing its independent passage along the NSR. Both LNG tankers will deliver approximately 140 thousand tons of LNG produced at Yamal LNG to destinations in the Asia-Pacific Region. The total time of cargo delivery by this route is 40% shorter than the traditional route through the Suez Canal.
Simultaneously, another Arc7 ice-class LNG tanker “Nikolay Zubov”, traveling in the opposite direction to the port of Sabetta after offloading its LNG cargo, entered the Westbound ice route along the NSR on the 6th January and subsequently reached the Ob Bay on the 17th January.
All three of the Arc7 ice-class LNG tankers independently passed the ice-covered part of the NSR, without ice-breaker support, along the navigational routes recommended by the State Research Center "Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute" and Atomflot’s Marine Operations Headquarters.
The aforementioned voyages took place in average ice conditions, two months after the end of the traditional navigation season in the Eastern part of the Arctic, which usually ends in November.
“These independent tanker voyages made in January taking into account the operational and technical capabilities of the Arc7 ice-class LNG tankers are the result of the targeted work of the Company and its partners to expand the navigational season for LNG shipments from our Arctic projects along the Eastern route of the NSR. Expanding the navigational period along the NSR by almost half the distance and time of LNG transport to the ports of the Asia-Pacific region compared to the traditional route through the Suez Canal allows us to reduce our carbon footprint and decrease carbon emissions by seven (7) thousand tons per round trip,” noted Leonid Mikhelson, NOVATEK’s Chairman of the Management Board. “The Government of the Russian Federation is taking all the necessary measures to create a safe and competitive transport infrastructure in the Russian Arctic, ensuring year-round navigation along the NSR, including in the Eastern part of the NSR. For example, our new fleet of ice-class LNG carriers, which will be built at the Zvezda Shipyard in Russia, are designed with better icebreaking characteristics”.