The Arc7 ice-class LNG tanker "Vladimir Rusanov" owned by Russian independent gas producer Novatek, transited the ice-covered part of the Northern Sea Route in only six days, setting a new record for independent passage via the route without ice-breaking support with cargo on board, Novatek said in a press release.
The net voyage time from Sabetta to the destination port of Tianjin in China was completed in a record 16 days, which is less than half the time required to transport a cargo of LNG along the traditional westbound route via the Suez Canal and Strait of Malacca, the company said.
"For the second year in a row, our Arc7 ice-class LNG tankers were once again the first ships to open the summer navigation period via the Northern Sea Route. This voyage set a number of records for the passage time of the ice part of the NSR, and for the total voyage time to China from the Russian Arctic region. These achievements were made possible due to the accumulated ice navigation experience and the outstanding ice performance characteristics of LNG tanker fleet designed specifically for our Yamal LNG project," First Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of Novatek Lev Feodosyev said as quoted by the press release.
Yamal LNG project is being implemented on the resource base of the Yuzhno-Tambeyskoye field in Russia’s Arctic region. By now three trains of the plant, each with the capacity of over 5.5 mln tonnes a year, have been launched. The fourth train is scheduled for commissioning in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Yamal LNG is 50.1% owned by Novatek. Other shareholders are France’s Total (20%), China’s CNPC (20%) and Silk Road Fund (9.9%).