Ice-Breaking LNG carrier Vladimir Rusanov, the first of three newbuilding vessels to be delivered to MOL and China Cosco Shipping Corporation, has loaded its first cargo at the Yamal LNG Plant, Sabetta Port, Russia.
The loading operation took place from 27 to 28 of March.
The vessel left the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) Okpo yard after its naming ceremony on Dec 21, 2017, and headed to the Arctic Ocean through the Suez Canal for Ice trials.
The ice trials took place over three weeks in the presence of MOL’s technical engineers and marine experts, the ship’s charterer Yamal LNG, DSME, and the manufacturers of the vessel’s main equipment. The LNG carrier was handed over to the Yamal LNG project after the completion of the ice trials of the vessel’s independent icebreaking capabilities in the Arctic Ocean.
The construction of the second and the third vessels from the series has been progressing as originally planned, MOL said, and they will be delivered to the Yamal LNG project after completion of their construction at the end of September 2018 and September 2019 respectively.
“MOL continues to take a proactive stance towards new Arctic LNG projects in light of the easier access to the Arctic where there is a huge potential for natural gas and other energy resources exploitation,” MOL said.
In February 2018, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Far East Investment and Export Agency (FEIA) under the Ministry of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East to cooperate on the development of the Northern Sea Route and the Russian Far East.
The Northern Sea Route, which is a much shorter alternative to the Suez Canal, is gaining on importance amid the reduction of ice in the Arctic and the design of new ice-breaking commercial vessels, which have made the transportation of abundant Arctic natural energy resources commercially viable.
The Arctic is a rich repository of natural resources, holding an estimated 13 pct of the world’s undiscovered oil resources and 30 pct of its undiscovered natural gas resources, according to an assessment conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
MOL believes its involvement in the region has a great potential in the wake of an anticipated investment in the next large LNG project near Russia’s Yamal Peninsula coupled with anticipated global demand growth for LNG as a clean energy driven by China, India and Southeast Asia as well as Europe.
Specifications of Vladimir Rusanov:
- Length: 299.0m
- Breadth: 50.00m
- Draft: 12.00m (at ice sea sailing)
- LNG tank: Membrane type
- Cargo tank capacity: 172,000m3
- Ice class/Specification: RMRS ARC7/Special specifications for Arctic environment
- Ice-break sailing capabilities: Icebreaker bow structure; 3-axis POD propeller aft structure
- Max. ice breaking capacity: 2.1m (when going astern)
- Ship Management Company: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL)
- Ownership: MOL 50%/China COSCO Shipping 50%