Two Yamal Arctic LNG Tankers to Start Sea Trials

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 18, 2019

A new Arc7 class ice-breaking liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker, the Nikolay Urvantsev, is undergoing sea trials, Refinitiv data shows, becoming the 13th vessel to join a fleet servicing Novatek's Yamal plant.

The vessel, previously known only as DMSE 2432, is owned by Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and was built at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) Okpo shipyard in South Korea. It is currently in the Korea Strait.

Another Arc7 tanker, the Vladimir Voronin, is also undergoing sea trials. The Nikolay Yevgenov, meanwhile, which underwent sea trials in April, delivered its first cargo last week.

The Yakov Gakkel, which had been due to begin operation next year, is in wet dock at Okpo, indicating that it will begin sea trials soon.

The tankers are part of a 15-strong fleet ordered by LNG tanker companies for the Yamal LNG production facility, which began operations in December 2017 and has contributed to a boom in LNG supplies over the past 18 months.

Yamal is dependent on the ice-breaker tankers to ship LNG out of the Arctic waters. Novatek had asked DSME to speed up construction and delivery of the tankers after production at the LNG plant ramped up faster than expected. The tankers have largely conducted ship-to-ship LNG transfers to conventional carriers, but during summer months they can traverse the Northern Sea Route eastwards to China.

All but one of the tankers are named after Russian arctic explorers and scientists. The first Arc7 tanker, the Christophe
De Margerie, is named after the former chief of Yamal's partner, Total, who died in an air crash in Russia in 2014.

Vessel                                            Status               Operator
Chris. de Margerie                         In operation       Sovcomflot
Boris Vilkitsky                                 In operation       Dynagas
Vladimir Rusanov                           In operation       MOL
Fedor Litke                                     In operation       Dynagas
Eduard Toll                                     In operation       Teekay
Rudolf Samoylovich                       In operation       Teekay
Vladimir Vize                                  In operation       MOL
Georgiy Brusilov                            In operation       Dynagas
Boris Davydov (DSME 2428)        In operation        Dynagas
Nikolay Zubkov (DSME 2429)       In operation       Dynagas
Nikolay Yevgenov (DSME 2430)   In operation       Teekay
Vladimir Voronin (DSME 2431)     Sea trials           Teekay
Nikolay Urvantsev(DSME 2432)   Sea trials           MOL
Georgiy Ushakov (DSME 2433)   Due 1/29/20       Teekay
Yakov Gakkel (DSME 2434)         Wet dock           Teekay
Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki

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