Russian natural gas producer PAO Novatek has shipped its first cargo of LNG produced from the Yamal LNG project to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), expanding its customer base in China.
The LNG cargo was delivered to Fujian LNG Terminal in China via the Northern Sea Route (NSR) by an Arc7 ice-class LNG carrier in 20 days, completing the NSR part of the journey in 7.5 days, Novatek said.
The cargo was shipped by the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, NOVATEK Gas and Power Asia.
“This shipment also represented our first cargo along the Northern Sea Route via the Eastern direction in November, essentially towards the end of the seasonal navigation period.
“The LNG cargo required no ice-breaking support and was shipped to its final destination in a very short period of time at a commercially viable speed, once again confirming the effectiveness of our logistical model allowing for competitive LNG deliveries to the key consuming markets of the Asian-Pacific Region,” Leonid Mikhelson, Novatek’s Chairman of the Management Board, said.
Asian countries, led by China, Japan and South Korea, who import energy resources, are eager to the tap into the potential of the trade growth in energy delivered through the Northern Sea Route, which is expected to boost further the utilization of the route.
The route 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.
To that end, COSCO Shipping Corporation and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) have jointly invested in a batch of independent ice-breaking capabilities enabling them to sail in seas with ice up to 2.1 meters thick.
The ships are intended to transport LNG from the Yamal LNG plant at Sabetta on Russia’s Yamal Peninsula to worldwide LNG markets throughout the year.
The first three ice-class LNG carriers started delivery in 2018 moving through 2019.
MOL and China COSCO Shipping have split ownership in four more 174,000 cbm LNG carriers intended for delivery and deployment on Yamal LNG project in 2019 and 2020 onwards.