Yamal LNG cargo completes ice-covered transit of Northern Sea Route: Novatek

03/06/2020 08:45 Natural Gas


A cargo of LNG from the Novatek-operated Yamal LNG plant in northern Russia has completed its journey across the ice-covered part of the Northern Sea Route (NSR), the Russian company said June 1.

The cargo -- being carried by the specialized icebreaker vessel, the Christophe de Margerie -- is the first this year and represents the earliest seasonal use of the route to date.

According to S&P Global Platts trade flow software cFlow, the Christophe de Margerie left the port of Sabetta on May 18 carrying a cargo of Yamal LNG and is expected to arrive at the Chinese port of Yangkou on June 10.


In a statement, Novatek said the voyage took place before the traditional start of the summer navigation season in average ice conditions, with the maximum ice thickness on the route reaching 1.3 meters.


"Eastbound transportation of LNG along the NSR is not normally performed in May as this represents one of the most difficult months for navigation," it said.


The Christophe de Margerie passed the Ob Bay and a part of the Kara Sea without ice-breaker assistance and then met with Atomflot's nuclear icebreaker Yamal, which escorted the tanker with ice navigation on the eastern part of the NSR.


Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson said the company was "actively working" to expand the eastbound navigation season for the NSR.


"We are looking forward to further development of state support for this trade route by increasing icebreaking capabilities as well as full-scale navigation and hydrographic assistance for shipping," Mikhelson said.


"This support allows us to significantly contribute to the annual cargo turnover along the NSR by implementing our large-scale LNG projects to produce up to 70 million mt/year by 2030," he said.


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