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    Yamal LNG Tanker Arrives in Zeebrugge


The world’s first top category ice-class LNG carrier docked at Zeebrugge January 20 in preparation for entering service for Yamal LNG.

by: Mark Smedley

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Yamal LNG Tanker Arrives in Zeebrugge

Christophe de Margerie, the world’s first top category ice-class LNG carrier, docked at Zeebrugge LNG terminal January 20 for a series of scheduled operations. 

The ship, named after the Total CEO who died in Moscow in 2014, will serve the Yamal LNG production terminal currently under construction in northern Siberia, train one of which is scheduled for start-up this year. Russian gas independent Novatek and Total are the largest Yamal LNG shareholders.

The 299-meter long vessel was recently completed at yard and moored at Zeebrugge during its maiden trip in order to cool down its cargo tanks and load a small volume of LNG, said Zeebrugge terminal owner/operator Fluxys January 23. It said the carrier will continue its sea trials afterwards, setting sail to the Yamal peninsula in Siberia to undertake an ice performance testing programme. It is scheduled to depart Zeebrugge February 4.

Fluxys said the vessel and others will be a regular visitor in future, as a 20-year contract was secured in 2015 by Fluxys to perform trans-shipments for the Yamal LNG project at Zeebrugge. The ship can transport 172,600 m3 of LNG. 

Former Total CEO Christophe de Margerie (Photo credit: Medef)

The 'YamalMax' ship was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea for its Russian shipowner Sovcomflot.

A fleet of 15 similar vessels will be serving the Yamal LNG production terminal and will call on a regular basis at the Zeebrugge LNG terminal to perform trans-shipments there, for onward redelivery to all kinds of destinations including the rest of Europe, South America and even Asia.

Currently a 5th LNG storage tank and additional process facilities are under construction at Zeebrugge to provide these services.

Total's de Margerie maintained business links to Russia despite the build-up of sanctions following Russia's early 2014 annexation of parts of Ukraine. He and three crew members were killed as their plane was struck by a snow plough on take-off from Moscow's Vnukovo airport October 20 2014. 


Mark Smedley