SCF Group and VEB.RF Group, a Russian financial institution, signed an agreement for lease financing of the lead ship in a series of icebreaking LNG carriers expected to be built to serve the Arctic LNG 2 project. At the same time, SCF Group and NOVATEK Group signed a long-term time charter agreement for this tanker.
The vessel will be constructed at Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex in the Russian Far East. She is designed for year-round operations in the challenging ice conditions of the Kara Sea and The Gulf of Ob and will be able to sail independently through ice over two metres thick.
All the LNG carriers in the new series will be operated under the Russian flag. The Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) will provide technical supervision during the construction of the vessel series.
For over a decade, SCF’s vessels have been successfully operating in the Barents and Pechora Seas, and across the Northern Sea Route. During this period, the company has accumulated unique experience from operating advanced technology ships in harsh, high latitude environments, as well as developing and introducing logistical support solutions for large-scale energy projects in the Russian Arctic.
In 2010-2011, Sovcomflot completed several experimental transit voyages along the NSR, proving the technical and economic feasibility of using this route as a transport corridor for large-scale cargo ships. These high-latitude voyages, involving SCF’s vessels, have laid the foundation for the implementation projects such as Yamal LNG.
In 2017, Sovcomflot introduced the world’s first icebreaking LNG carrier, Christophe de Margerie. Her appearance signalled the market debut for Yamalmax ships, a new class of vessel. The design of Christophe de Margerie has been duly appreciated by oil and gas industry experts: the vessel won the award for Engineering Project of the Year at the 2017 S&P Global Platts Global Energy Awards.