On June 21, 2013 under the auspices of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum a number of agreements were signed between Gazprom Marketing & Trading (GM&T), Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS), JSC United Shipbuilding Corporation and ОАО Sovcomflot (SCF) to promote Russian content in LNG carriers construction projects.
To ensure LNG shipping by sea from the Gazprom Group projects Vladivostok LNG and Sakhalin-2, provision will be made for possible construction during 2017-2021 of up to 13 highly sophisticated LNG carriers, involving the shipyard Zvezda (Bolshoy Kamen, Primorsky Region, Russia). The plan approval and construction survey for the LNG carriers will be performed by classification society Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.
Mikhail Ayvazov, CEO, Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, and Nikolai Grigoriev, Director of Global Shipping & Logistics of GM&T, have signed Agreement for Strategic Partnership in Classification and Certification of LNG Carriers for the future needs of the Gazprom Group.
Under this Agreement, Gazprom Marketing & Trading will give priority to Russian Maritime Register of Shipping in carrying out the projects of LNG production and transportation. RS will, in its turn, provide consultations for the company on matters connected to ship, including LNG carriers, design, construction, classification and certification, carry out on a priority basis ship design appraisals upon the request of GM&T, including conceptual designs. Besides, the parties will cooperate in improving the education level of Russian seafarers and in implementing innovative technical solutions for shipbuilding and maritime safety.
“The documents signed today are of a strategic nature, since they enable actions to be taken within the framework of the RF state policy aimed at promoting the Russian content in the national shipbuilding projects while using the knowledge and experience accumulated by the maritime industry around the globe’, the RS CEO Mikhail Ayvazov said. – ‘RS is an integral part of the national marine gas transportation expertise: Rules for the Classification and Construction of Gas Carriers are regularly published by RS since 1985. Today, we place the special emphasis on training qualified personnel. We have developed and maintained a special training course for gas carrier surveyors. Highly skilled professionals experienced in marine gas transportation, gas carrier design and construction are on the staff of the RS Far East Branch Office and at RS locations in South-East Asia. In March 2012, we established Design and Newbuilding Support Centre in South Korea and I can state with satisfaction that today RS has sufficient potential to satisfy the needs for qualified personnel for any major project in marine gas transportation.”
RS already possesses successful experience of cooperating with GM&T in gas carrier design and construction. Early in 2013, RS completed the approval in principle of an LNG carrier which will form the basis of gas carrier fleet for the future needs of the Gazprom Group. The RS-approved design is developed by Korean shipbuilders in conjunction with the world leading owners - LNG carrier operators. It incorporates the foremost achievements in gas carrier design and construction, meets the highest environmental requirements, provides for a package of measures and equipment to operate at low temperatures as well as ice class Arc4 enabling the ship to carry LNG along the Northern Sea Route.
Presently the yard STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd (South Korea) is building gas carriers of the Velikiy Novgorod series for Gazprom Marketing & Trading under the supervision of RS and Lloyd’s Register of Shipping. The design of hightech Atlanticmax gas carriers with the ice class Ice2 (1C), cargo carrying capacity of about 170 000 cubic metres and a set of equipment to enable operation under low temperatures will make it possible for the ships to engage in year-round gas transportation practically from all existing LNG terminals including Sakhalin 2, the first Russian LNG project. The construction of Velikiy Novgorod, the first serial ship of the two, is to be completed in December 2013. The delivery of the second ship, gas carrier Pskov, is planned for 2014.