November 12, 2018 / 12:51 PM / in a month

UPDATE 1-New ice-breaking tanker heads for Russia to load Yamal LNG

 (Adds table with Arc 7 Yamal carriers, detail on next vessel,
background on winter trade)
    By Sabina Zawadzki
    LONDON, Nov 12 (Reuters) - A new ice-breaking tanker capable
of navigating the Arctic on its own is set to load its first
liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment from Russia's
fast-expanding Yamal facility.
    The Georgiy Brusilov left South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding
and Marine Engineering shipyard at the weekend and is due at
Yamal's Sabetta port on Nov. 28, Refinitiv Eikon data shows.
    It is the eighth ARC7-class LNG carrier, which are longer
than the Titanic, to join the Yamal fleet operated by Teekay,
Mitsui OSK Lines and Dynagas, with another seven expected.
    The vessels have enabled Yamal's operator Novatek
to ramp up production since its first LNG cargo at the end of
last year, with the northern Russian facility's output only
constrained by the number of carriers able to traverse the
waters of the Arctic westwards without the help of icebreakers.
    While the Arc7 carriers can ply the Northern Sea Route
during the summer from northern Russia to Asia, during winter
they go westwards and either deliver to northwest Europe or
transfer LNG for onward journeys to Asia.
    That has increased demand for ordinary tankers, which take
the LNG from ports in the Netherlands, Britain or Belgium to
Asia, a factor behind soaring LNG shipping rates.
    
    SEA TRIALS
    Another of the tankers, the Boris Davydov, has been on sea
trials around the South Korean island of Geoje since at least
September and may also soon be ready for operation.
    All but one of the ships ordered by Novatek are named after
early 20th century Russian Arctic scientists and explorers. The
Christopher de Margerie is named after the late head of oil
major Total, which has a stake in Yamal.
    Novatek hopes to bring a third train, or plant, at Yamal
into operation by December, making it one of the largest LNG
export facilities in the world with a capacity of 16.5 million
tonnes a year (mtpa). 
    The continued ramp-up in output as the Northern Hemisphere
winter approaches eases concerns over a supply crunch in both
Asia and Europe as happened last year when below-average
temperatures drove demand, and prices, up.
    The following table shows the status of the Arc7 carriers
ordered by Novatek for Yamal:
         
 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     Starting operations      Dynagas
 Boris Davydov        Sea trials               Dynagas
 DSME 2429            Under construction       Dynagas
 DSME 2430            Under construction       Teekay
 DSME 2431            Under construction       Teekay
 DSME 2432            Under construction       MOL 
 DSME 2433            Under construction       Teekay
 DSME 2434            Under construction       Teekay
  

 (Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki
Editing by Alexander Smith)
  
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