Chinese, Russian Majors Ink Arctic LNG Deal

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 7, 2019

Photo: Sovcomflot (SCF Group)

Photo: Sovcomflot (SCF Group)

Russia's second largest natural gas producer Novatek, Russian maritime shipping company specializing in petroleum and LNG shipping Sovcomflot, Chinese state-owned shipping and logistics services supplier company COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited, and the Chinese government owned investment fund Silk Road Fund, signed a four-party agreement to establish a joint venture Maritime Arctic Transport LLC.

The focus of the Maritime Arctic Transport joint venture is to manage an icebreaking tanker fleet of Arctic ice-class vessels, comprising existing and new vessels, engaged in the transportation of LNG for current and planned NOVATEK projects, namely: Yamal LNG; Arctic LNG 2 and others.

The signing ceremony was attended by: Maxim Akimov, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia; Yury Tsvetkov, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Transport and Head of the Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport; Oxana Tarasenko, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Economic Development.

The agreement was signed by: Sergey Frank, President and CEO of Sovcomflot; Leonid Mikhelson, Chairman of the Management Board of NOVATEK; Xui Lizhong, Chairman of the Board of Directors of COSCO Shipping Corporation; Wang Yanzhi, President of the Silk Road Fund.

Sergey Frank, President and CEO of Sovcomflot, said: "The sheer scale and level of technical complexity of the new international project to provide safe, year-round, transportation for LNG across the Northern Sea Route have required the combination of a whole range of intellectual, technological, human and financial resources, from leading Russian and Chinese organisations and businesses.”

He added: “We are pleased to participate in this Russian-Chinese consortium in such an important energy project for the economies of our countries. We are pleased to contribute to the joint venture the unique experience and expertise accumulated over ten years by Sovcomflot, gained whilst successfully operating a unique fleet of specialised vessels, serving large oil and gas projects in the Arctic and subarctic marine basins.”

“The project's transport and logistics are consolidated around a single operational platform that will contribute to increased efficiency, safety, and further optimisation of the entire cargo transit traffic system through the waters of the Northern Sea Route, including the Polar Silk Road project", emphasised Sergey Frank.

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