The joint venture companies between Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and China Shipping Group have ordered three new ice-class LNG carriers from South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).
The 172,000m³ membrane-type Arc-7 ice-class carriers will be deployed to transport natural gas from Yamal LNG project at Sabetta in Yamal Peninsula, Russia, to key markets across the world.
The deal forms part of a planned 16 Arc-7-class LNG carrier newbuildings, which were agreed with DSME in August 2013.
MOL said in a statement: "The signing by other owner of remaining carriers required for Yamal LNG fleet will be made in Russia."
The 299m-long and 50m-wide vessels will be specifically built to suit the Arctic environment. They will have the ability to navigate independently on the Northern Sea Route while transporting fuel to East Asia in summer.
In addition, the vessels will feature ice-break sailing capabilities, such as icebreaker bow structure, aft structure and three-axis pod propeller, which enable them to sail in icy seas with ice thickness of up to 2.1m.
The Yamal LNG project is expected to have three liquefaction trains with an annual output capacity of 16.5 million tonnes. The commercial launch of the first train is scheduled to take place in 2017.
Image: A depiction of the new LNG carrier. Photo: courtesy of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.