Icebreaking LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie has commenced the commercial voyage carrying the first cargo of liquefied natural gas produced at the Yamal LNG plant.
The vesse, owned by Russian shipping company Sovcomflot, completed its first Yamal cargo loading at the Port of Sabetta, Yamal Peninsula, on December 8.
“This is a remarkable day for us all. I congratulate all those who worked on this project, on this wonderful occasion, the first loading of a new tanker…,” Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, said.
“This is an extremely important sector for Russia. This is not just an important event in our country’s energy sector, or gas production and liquefaction. This is a more ambitious project. What I mean is that we are faced with the enormous task of developing the Arctic and the Northern Sea Route.”
The event marks “a milestone moment” in the history of the development of the Russian Arctic, according to Sergey Frank, President & CEO of Sovcomflot.
“Never before have merchant vessels of such a heavy tonnage been able to operate in such extreme navigational and ice conditions, as the ones at Yamal, independently and year-round,” Frank added.
Christophe de Margerie is the first in a series of 15 icebreaking LNG carriers ordered for the Yamal LNG project to transport LNG year-round in the challenging ice conditions of the Kara Sea and Gulf of Ob.
The vessel is capable of sailing independently through ice of up to 2.1 metres thick. It has been assigned an ice class Arc7, the highest ice class amongst existing merchant vessels.
Christophe de Margerie docked at the Yamal LNG terminal on March 30 after completing its ice trials.
Image Courtesy: SCF