Novatek says 4th Yamal LNG train to hit full capacity later this year

Russian independent producer Novatek is expecting to reach full production capacity at its fourth Yamal LNG train later this year.

The unit, which features Novatek’s proprietary liquefaction technology, has a capacity of around 900 thousand tons per year.

It started pilot LNG production in December last year adding to the three 5.5 mtpa units already in production at the plant in the Russian Arctic, but Novatek is still working to reach the train’s full production capacity.

“In May, we successfully completed a 72-hour test at 80% of fourth train’s liquefaction capacity, and we are now monitoring how the “Arctic Cascade” technology performs during the warmer summer period,” Novatek’s finance chief Mark Gyetvay said on Thursday during a conference call discussing the company’s quarterly results.

“We expect to reach 100% liquefaction capacity during the upcoming autumn season, but to really give an accurate assessment of the train’s operating results we will need to study its performance over different climatic seasons,” he said.

Gyetvay said that Novatek would monitor this over the next 12 to 18 months, adding that, overall, the train has produced about 38 thousand tons of LNG by the end of June.

Yamal LNG ships 757 cargoes

Since the launch of the first train back in 2017, the giant Yamal LNG project has shipped 757 cargoes or 55.4 million tons to its customers, according to Gyetvay.

In addition, the project has also dispatched 107 shipments of stable gas condensate.

As per the second quarter this year, Yamal LNG shipped 67 cargoes or 4.9 million tons. The project has sold 43 cargoes, or 64 percent, under long-term contracts and the remaining under spot transactions, Gyetvay said.

During the April-June period, Yamal LNG produced slightly more than 4.8 million tons of LNG and roughly 258 thousand tons of unstable gas condensate.

NSR transits

Gyetvay said Novatek plans to send 40 LNG cargoes onboard the 15 Arc7 ice-class tankers serving the Yamal LNG project via the Northern Sea Route (NSR) this upcoming navigational season.

This compares to 34 deliveries in 2020, inclusive of 19 long-term cargoes and 21 redirections.

“As of today’s call, a total of seven cargoes have been shipped using the
NSR, comprised of three long-term cargoes, one redirected long-term cargo and three spot cargoes,” he said.

He added there were no ship-to-ship transfers at Murmansk in the reporting period
as compared to eight transfers in the first quarter of this year.

Second Arctic LNG project 45% complete

In addition to the Yamal LNG project, Novatek is also moving forward with the construction of its second export project in the Arctic.

The Arctic LNG 2 project located on the Gydan peninsula includes the construction of three LNG trains with a capacity of 6.6 mtpa, each, using gravity-based structure platforms.

The project had reached a 45 percent completion as of the end of the second quarter, Gyetvay said, adding that the first GBS was about 61 percent complete.

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