Russian shipping firms Sovcomflot, Novatek and Vnesheconombank (VEB) have signed an agreement for the construction of two liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers for the Yamal LNG project.
As part of the deal, VEB will provide finance for the construction of two gas carriers, while Sovcomflot will be responsible for operating them as a bareboat charterer and technical manager.
The contract for the construction of the two LNG tankers will be awarded after a tender process, with the delivery of the vessels scheduled to take place in 2016.
The contract will have a provision for the participation of Russian shipbuilders and the transfer of LNG tanker construction technology to Russia.
The winning shipbuilder will also have to provide training to Russian specialists at overseas shipyards and provide technical support in setting up gas carrier production in the country.
Designed especially for the LNG Yamal project, the ice class (Arc7) 170,000m³ capacity gas carriers are intended to be suitable for operating in Arctic conditions.
The vessels will be equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system that includes three Azipods, each with an output of 15MW, to provide uninterrupted operations.
Sovcomflot president Sergey Frank said the new vessels will be built using advanced shipbuilding technologies, while experienced captains and crew will be responsible for operating them to carry LNG in Arctic waters.
"At Sovcomflot we are confident that our long-standing experience of Arctic shipping and successfully implemented Arctic projects, for example Varandey and the Northern Sea route transit crossings, will ensure we cope successfully with the task of providing uninterrupted LNG transportation, in the challenging climatic conditions of the Yamal Peninsula," Frank said.
The Yamal LNG project is 80%-owned by Russian gas producer Novatek, while the remainder is owned by Total.
Image: The two new LNG carriers for the Yamal LNG project are scheduled to be delivered in 2016. Photo: OAO Sovcomflot 2013.