Russia’s VTB Bank has agreed to provide a loan of $260m to shipbuilding company Sovcomflot (SCF Group) to finance the construction of an ice-resistant Arctic liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker for the Yamal LNG project.
Yamal LNG is a future liquefied natural gas plant to be located at Sabetta, north-east of the Yamal Peninsula, Russia.
To be built under a 13 year loan agreement, the new tanker will be able to carry up to 172,600m³ of LNG.
Based on an Arc7 enhanced ice class tanker, the new vessel will be able perform independent navigation in ice fields of up to 2.1m thick.
Sovcomflot CEO Sergey Frank said: "We are completing the construction of an innovative vessel, which has no analogues in the world to date, and we have concluded a unique transaction to finance this project.
"This is one of the first such agreements ever signed in Russia, to finance a vessel construction, which is traditionally a very capital-intensive and long-term investment project.
"I am confident that the solid performance delivered by our company will enable it to continue to be a reliable and attractive partner for Russian banks."
Scheduled to be delivered by the first quarter of next year, the new vessel will be equipped with a 45MW propulsion system, which is comparable to that of the nuclear ice breakers.
Currently, SCF Group has a fleet of 140 vessels with a total deadweight (dwt) of over 12.2 million tonnes, and provides a different range of vessels to mainly Russian oil and gas companies.
Separately, Sovcomflot had entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Gazprom Neft for supplying marine lubricants.
The new deal provides for the potential expansion of the current marine lubricants supply geography, and a rise in the number of ships using these lubricants to 19 within the next two years.