GAC Russia has won a contract to manage Yamal LNG’s fleet of icebreaker tankers at Sabetta port for the next three years.
Under the agreement, GAC Russia will handle an estimated 400 port calls every year — 200 in Sabetta and an additional 200 globally.
GAC said that the annoucement comes after the management of last spring’s ice trials for the Christophe De Margerie, a new tanker able to transport LNG unaided year-round.
Sabetta presents a challenge to conventional LNG transportation, as the sea is frozen for up to nine months of the year and temperatures can drop as low as -50°C. The 300-meter-long Christophe De Margerie has a capacity of 172,600 cubic meters and is equipped to operate without the assistance of icebreakers to ensure that Yamal LNG continues exports to European and Asian destinations.
Over the coming two years, the remaining newbuilds of 15 LNG icebreakers will gradually be commissioned.
Yamal LNG is owned and operated by a partnership comprised of Novatek, Total, CNPC and the Silk Road Fund. It aims to tap natural gas reserves totaling more than 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE).
Each year, nearly 16.5 million metric tons of LNG will transit through the port of Sabetta, destined for Europe and Asia under contracts ranging from 15 to 20 years.