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Zvezda сuts steel for 1st Russian-built icebreaking LNG carrier

Zvezda сuts steel for 1st Russian-built icebreaking LNG carrier

Bolshoy Kamen, November 25 - Neftegaz.RU. Russia's Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex has started building the 1st in a series of 15 icebreaking LNG carriers ordered for year-round gas transport along the Northern Sea Route from the Arctic LNG 2 project in Russia's high north. They will be the 1st such vessels constructed domestically.

Shipbuilding, financing, lease and time charter contracts for the new ships were signed by SCF Group, NOVATEK, Zvezda and VEB.RF Group in 2019. The lead LNG carrier, scheduled for delivery in in the 1st quarter of 2023, was ordered directly by SCF, while the other 14 vessels were ordered Sovcomflot and Novatek joint venture SMART LNG and will be chartered by Novatek.

The complex vessels will be the 1st Arc7 ice class LNG carriers built in Russia, and they will be be registered under the Russian flag and operated by Russian crews.

The vessel design, which builds upon Sovcomflot's experience operating large vessels within challenging ice conditions, has been engineered to enable increased speed and maneuverability when sailing in ice conditions, compared with icebreaking LNG carriers of the previous generation. This will, for the 1st time, allow year-round navigation in the eastern sector of the Russian Arctic, thereby expediting the implementation of Russian plans to boost cargo traffic along the Northern Sea Route. All the vessels in the series will be assigned an Arc7 ice class.

Yury Borisov, Russian Deputy PM, said, “These vessels will significantly contribute to the development of cargo traffic along the Northern Sea Route, which is strategically important for Russia. Each vessel will have capacity of more than 172,000 cu m. The vessels’ dimensions are remarkable, 300 m long and over 48 m wide. Their power capacity is 45 MW, with each vessel equipped with 3 unique azimuth propulsion units.”

Igor Tonkovidov, CEO of Sovcomflot, said, "The start of construction of the 1st in this new generation of LNG carriers by Zvezda is a significant milestone for the Russian shipbuilding industry, which has never before constructed vessels with this level of engineering complexity. We are looking forward to continuing our close collaboration and are ready to further support the Russian civilian shipbuilding industry as part of the implementation of major energy projects."

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