Christophe de Margerie, the world’s first ice-breaking liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker, became the first ship to dock at the Yamal LNG terminal at Russia’s port of Sabetta on March 30 after completing its ice trials.
“The arrival of this new tanker, designed for Arctic conditions, is a big event in Arctic development, as is the construction of the port of Sabetta, where the tanker docked today,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
The ARC-7 class ice-breaking vessel, which has a capacity to carry 173,600 cubic meters of LNG, was designed specifically to serve the country’s Yamal LNG project and transport LNG in the Ob Bay and Kara Sea.
Capable of sailing through ice up to 2.1 meter thick, Christophe de Margerie is able to sail along the Northern Sea Route westward from Sabetta all year round and eastward for six months of the year, from July to December.
Ordered under a USD 320 million shipbuilding deal in 2014, the 299-meter-long vessel was delivered by South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) to its owner, the Russian shipping company Sovcomflot, earlier in March.
Christophe de Margerie is the prototype for a series of 15 gas carriers, which are planned to be constructed for the Yamal LNG project. The appearance of this particular gas carrier signalled the market debut for Yamalmax ships, a new class of vessel, according to Sovcomflot.