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Business Last Updated: Jul 1, 2022 - 11:39:40 AM

Yamal LNG Restarts Shipments via Northern Sea Route
By LNG 29/6/22
Jun 29, 2022 - 12:28:25 PM

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The Yamal LNG consortium-controlled LNG carrier (LNGC) Nikolay Yevgenov has arrived in the Far East after being the first LNGC to make the journey via the Northern Sea Route this year. The vessel departed Yamal LNG in the afternoon on 16 June, our data show, but had yet to confirm its destination at the time of writing. The journey along the Siberian coast to destinations in Northeast Asia usually takes around three weeks depending on ice and weather conditions.
Another LNGC, the Georgiy Brusilov, also departed for the Far East carrying a Yamal cargo on 23 June, our data show. Based on our historical data, we estimate the vessel to arrive at its destination in Northeast Asia around 12 July. The Nikolay Yevgenov and the Georgiy Brusilov are part of a fleet of 15 icebreaking, first-generation Arc7 class LNGCs specifically designed to ship gas from Yamal LNG to Europe year-round and to Asia mainly during the summer. Since June 2021, Yamal LNG has exported 2.28mmt via the Northern Sea Route, according to our data.

                          LNG Shipments via Northern Sea Route - MMt -
                          2021 to date

The plantís operator Novatek originally hoped to also be able to ship gas via the Northern Sea Route to Asia throughout the year without icebreaker assistance as global warming would result in thinner ice during the winter season. However, the Nikolay Yevgenov, which first attempted such a winter voyage in January 2021, had to cancel its journey after it suffered damage to its azipod thrusters. Dedicated ice breakers along the 3,000NM Arctic route are in too short a supply to allow individual escort for every LNGC leaving Yamal LNG in the winter.
The economic upside of using the shorter Northern Sea Route all year without seasonal limitations incentivised the development of the second-generation of icebreaking LNGCs. These second-generation vessels are designed to have sufficient icebreaking capabilities to traverse the Northern Sea Route without icebreaker escort throughout the year.
However, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) said in May it had cancelled an order for three LNGCs after sanctions imposed on Russian fleet owner Sovcomflot led to a missed payment deadline. According to our research, those vessels were of the second-generation Arc7 type and part of a roster of six due for delivery starting in February 2023. The remaining three were ordered by Japanese fleet owner MOL and remain on order.
Making the Northern Sea Route accessible year-round would represent a significant diversification for Russiaís gas export options. To date, LNG shipments to the Far East during the main winter season have relied on transshipment slots at Zeebrugge and a long journey via Suez.

Source:Ocnus.net 2022

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