China’s Cosco Shipping Energy Transportation will buy 50 percent stakes in three Arc7 ice-class LNG tankers from Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL).
The tankers in question will serve Novatek’s Arctic LNG 2 project located on the Gydan peninsula as part of a charter deal revealed last year.
MOL already ordered the 172,500 cbm vessels at South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering with delivery scheduled during 2023.
Cosco Shipping said in a statement it would set up a new firm to buy a 50% stake in three ship entities formed by MOL to build the vessels.
The total investment in the project would reach $923 million, according to Cosco.
The new ships will be 300 meters long with a 47 meter width.
In addition, the vessels will mainly transport LNG from the Gydan facility in the Russian Arctic to the floating storage units to be installed at the transshipment terminal in Kamchatka and Murmansk via the Northern Sea Route.
MOL’s previous icebreaking LNG carriers can only sail eastbound in the Northern Sea Route during mostly summer and autumn when the ice is thin.
However, the new vessels will have a narrower width, hull form optimized for ice breaking, and an increased propulsion engine output which will enable them to sail east via the Northern Sea Route all year round, MOL previously said.
Novatek’s Arctic LNG 2 project includes the construction of three trains with a capacity of 6.6 mtpa, each, using gravity-based structure platforms.
Moreover, the Russian producer expects to launch the first LNG train in 2023, with LNG trains 2 and 3 to follow in 2024 and 2026, respectively.