The Port of Sabetta is a new seaport under construction on the western shore of the Ob Bay in the Yamal Peninsula of Russia. The new port is being developed by the Russian gas company Novatek, in partnership with the Government of Russia.

The Port of Sabetta forms a key part of the ongoing Yamal LNG project, which involves the design and construction of an integrated onshore LNG facility which processes the feedstock from South-Tambeyskoye field.

The construction of the port started in July 2012 and is scheduled for completion in 2016. The new port will facilitate shipment of LNG from the Yamal facility to the countries of Western Europe, North and South America, and the Asia Pacific region.

The Port of Sabetta will also lay the foundation for further development of hydrocarbon fields located in the Yamal Peninsula and the Gulf of Ob, by providing the critical shipping infrastructure in the icy waters of the Ob Bay and the Northern Sea Route.

The port can also be used for shipping goods other than hydrocarbons.

The port is expected to export 15 million tonnes of cargo in 2018. Annual shipments of cargo at Sabetta are expected to reach 30.7 million tonnes and 50 million tonnes respectively in the years 2020 and 2030.

Details of the Russian port project

“The new port will facilitate shipment of LNG from the Yamal facility to the countries of Western Europe.”

Sabetta, one of the largest Russian Arctic ports, is being developed through a Public Private Partnership (PPP).

The port project was identified by the Russian Government as a project of strategic importance for the development of gas-rich Yamal Peninsula.

Key stakeholders of the port development include Novatek, the Federal Agency of Sea and River Transport, and the state enterprise Rosmorport.

The port will cover an area of 59ha. The project involves the construction of a 50km sea channel, a six kilometre long and 420m wide approach channel, and berths for construction materials cargo as well as gas tankers. The port will also have a four kilometre long canal for storage of ships, and a control station.

The design of the port was completed in March 2013, but is yet to be reviewed by the state officials for environmental approvals.

The federal government will provide funds for dredging, construction of a navigation channel as well as vessel traffic management and information systems.

Financing for the Port of Sabetta project

The port project is estimated to cost approximately RUB 75bn ($2.3bn). The Russian Government will provide RUB 49bn ($1.5bn) and the rest will be funded by Yamal LNG.

Construction of the Gulf of Ob-based port

The groundbreaking ceremony for the port was held in July 2012. Preparatory works for the construction were started in April 2012 and completed in October 2012.

“Sabetta, one of the largest Russian Arctic ports, is being developed through a Public Private Partnership (PPP).”

The port’s construction is being carried out in two phases. The piers for handling LNG plant modules and construction materials are being constructed in the phase one, which is expected to be completed by July 2014.

Phase two will include the construction of berths for handling LNG and gas condensate. It is scheduled to start in 2013.

The dredging works performed at the port during 2012 amounted to 1.5 million m³ of earthworks. A total of 25 million m³ of soil is planned to be excavated from the dredging of sea area and approach channel. The dredging works were halted for some time during the first half of 2013 due to icy conditions.

Yuri Arshenevsky, a cargo-vessel, brought construction loads to the port with the help of nuclear powered ice-breaker Taimyr in March 2013. The cargo vessel was manufactured by Murmansk Marine Company.

Other facilities at the Port of Sabetta

The port will have a Facility Management System (FMS), Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) and sintered radios for ships. The communication and safety services will be provided by hydro-graphic and hydro-cally systems, Automated tools Information System (AIS) and global marine communications systems for distress and security (GMDSS).

Contractors involved with Russia’s port development

Rosmorport is acting as the Russian Government’s representative for the port project. USK MOST was engaged in the dredging works at the port in 2012. LenmorNIIproject is the design engineer for the project.

Yamal LNG project

Yamal LNG project involves the development of Yamal Peninsula’s Yuzhno-Tambeyskoye field, which has estimated gas reserves of 1.3 trillion m³, and the construction of a gas liquefaction plant with an annual capacity to produce 15 million tonnes of LNG and up to one million tonnes of condensate.

The commissioning of the LNG plant is expected in 2016. The Yamal LNG project is owned by a joint venture comprised of Novatek (80%) and Total (20%).