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    MOL Names Third Yamal LNG Carrier

Summary

The ice-breaking LNG carrier will expand the fleet serving the Russian arctic terminal.

by: Tim Gosling

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MOL Names Third Yamal LNG Carrier

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announced July 19 that it had named a third ship that will serve the Yamal LNG project in the Russian arctic.

The Japanese company hosted a ceremony naming the ice-breaking LNG carrier the Nikolay Urvantsev on July 18. The vessel, jointly ordered by MOL and China’s COSCO Shipping Corp., will go into service this month, MOL said in a statement.

The Nikolay Urvantsev is the sister vessel of the Vladimir Rusanov and Vladimir Vize, which began transporting LNG from Novatek’s Yamal LNG project in 2018.

Capable of carrying 172,000 m3 of the chilled fuel, the ship is due to head out on an ice-breaking navigation without ice-breaker support through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) towards the Russian terminal.

MOL agreed its role in serving the Yamal LNG project in 2014, and construction of the ice-breaking fleet started in May 2016. In 2017, the company signed a long-term charter contract for a further four conventional LNG Carriers to serve the terminal. The construction of these vessels “has been progressed as planned,” MOL’s statement added.

The third train at the Yamal LNG plant started its operation in December 2018, and the plant's annual LNG production has reached 16.5mn mt/yr capacity. A 0.9mn mt/yr fourth train is expected to be launched within 2019. As a leader in ice-breaking vessels and operation in the NSR, MOL continues to work assiduously to ensure stable LNG transportation from the Yamal LNG plant, in addition to other energy resource and product transportation through the Arctic, where demand is expected to grow in the future.

Yamal LNG was first Novatek's LNG export project. The company is planning to expand production in the Arctic further with the launch of the 19.8mn mt/yr Arctic LNG-2 and 5.5mn/yr Obsk LNG plants within the next five years.

The Yamal terminal shipped its first cargo to Japan in late June. The same month, Novatek announced that it is teaming up with Russian shipper Sovcomflot, China’s Silk Road Fund and Cosco to establish a joint venture to carry LNG exports from its Arctic projects.

Russian press reported on July 17 that Novatek has ordered four ice-breaking LNG carriers to serve its Arctic-2 LNG project from the Zvezda shipyard.