Russia’s Zvezda starts building first Arctic LNG 2 vessel

Russian Zvezda shipyard has started building the first out of fifteen ice-class ARC7 carriers that will serve the Novatek-operated Arctic LNG 2 export project.

To mark the construction start, the yard held a steel cutting ceremony on November 20 attended by officials including from Novatek, Sovcomflot and VEB.RF.

This is the first carrier out of the fifteen vessels ordered at Zvezda. Russia’s largest shipping firm Sovcomflot ordered this vessel directly at the compatriot yard.

To remind, the trio finalized the construction and charter deals for the other 14 vessels with Zvezda in September this year.

Additionally, Arctic LNG 2 entered the deal for the vessels with SMART LNG, a venture consisting of Novatek and Sovcomflot.

Each vessel will have capacity of more than 172,000 cubic metres. They will be 300 metres long and over 48 metres wide.

The construction of these LNG carriers will ensure year-round transport of LNG along the Northern Sea Route to the Asian Pacific region.

Furthermore, it will also provide an important stimulus to develop the Russian shipbuilding industry.

Arctic LNG 2 is located on the Gydan peninsula and includes the construction of three LNG trains with a capacity of 6.6 mtpa, each.

The project utilizes a new concept using gravity-based structure platforms to reduce overall capital cost and minimize environmental footprint in the Russian Arctic.

Novatek expects to launch the first LNG train in 2023, with trains 2 and 3 to follow in 2024 and 2026, respectively.

Besides operator Novatek, the project partners include Total, CNPC, CNOOC, and the consortium of Mitsui and JOGMEC.

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