Russia’s Novatek upgrades its Arctic liquefaction tech

Russia’s LNG exporter Novatek has upgraded its Arctic liquefaction tech which it uses at the fourth Yamal LNG train.

According to a statement by Novatek issued on Thursday, the firm obtained a Russian patent for the technology called “Arctic Cascade Modified” (ACM).

“Stemming from operational lessons learned, improvements to the technology enable LNG production with a leaner equipment list and better energy efficiency,” Novatek said.

Also, Novatek said the underlying process design is compatible with domestically manufactured equipment.

Novatek added it intends to use the ACM liquefaction process for the company’s large-scale LNG projects in the Arctic with a production capacity of 3 mmtpa per LNG train.

Yamal LNG’s fourth train with a capacity of around 900 thousand tons per year, which features the “Arctic Cascade” technology, started pilot LNG production in December 2020. Novatek launched the train in May 2021, adding to the three 5.5 mtpa units already in production at the plant in the Russian Arctic.

Besides Yamal LNG, Novatek operates the medium-scale LNG plant in Russia’s Baltic Sea port of Vysotsk and is building the giant Arctic LNG 2 project.

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 firm expects to launch the first Arctic LNG 2 GBS in late 2023 despite Western sanctions on Russian firms.

Paris-based LNG engineering giant Technip Energies and Italian contractor Saipem previously said they would exit Novatek’s Arctic LNG 2 project.

In addition to these three projects, Russia has this week approved Novatek’s purchase of Shell’s 27.5 percent stake in Sakhalin Energy LLC, the new operator of the Sakhalin LNG plant led by Gazprom.

Novatek will pay 94.8 billion rubles ($1.15 billion) for the stake, according to a government order.

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