Yamal LNG announced the operational start of the new Arc7 ice-class LNG tanker Yakov Gakkel, the last of 15 Arc7 ice-class LNG carriers fitted with podded propulsion built specifically for the project
Yakov Gakkel has loaded the 354th LNG cargo in the port of Sabetta bound to China.
Owned by a joint venture between Teekay LNG Partners and China LNG Partners, Yakov Gakkel and its sister ships are capable of shipping 17.4 mta of the LNG produced by Yamal LNG from its first three LNG trains and the planned Train 4.
Yakov Gakkel was built by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) based on Aker Arctic’s Double Acting Ship concept and capable of operating independently without icebreaker escort along the Northern Sea Route. The LNG carrier has an overall length of 299 m, beam of 50 m and draught of 11.7 m, with the capability of breaking ice up to 2.1 m thick when operating astern.
With the delivery of Yakov Gakkel, all 15 Arc7 ice-class tankers can be used to optimise Yamal LNG’s logistics both westbound and eastbound in 2020, particularly by increased use of the Northern Sea Route.
The 15 172,600-m3 capacity vessels have opened the Northern Sea Route to commercial gas shipping and significantly expanded the navigation period in the direction of the Asia-Pacific region, ensuring year-round transportation of gas to customers westwards.
While the Yamal peninsula has vast hydrocarbon reserves, it is above the Arctic Circle, about 2,500 km from Moscow and covered by ice for most of the year, with temperatures dropping to -50ºC.
Critical to the performance of the Arc7 ice class LNG carriers are their Azipod propulsion systems. Unveiled almost 30 years ago in Helsinki, Finland, the Azipod propulsion system is an electric drive motor located inside a submerged pod outside of the ship’s hull. The podded propulsion unit can rotate 360º, supplying increased manoeuvrability, particularly crucial for vessels operating in ice-infested waters.
ABB has delivered electric propulsion systems to over 90 icebreakers or ice-going vessels with a propulsion power of up to 45 MW. Options for Azipod propulsion span 1 MW to 22 MW.
ABB said as a result of its ability to cut fuel consumption by up to 20% compared to traditional shaft line propulsion systems, Azipod technology has played a key role in developing the company’s strong position for environmentally friendly electric propulsion.
“The sheer scale of this project and the size of the Azipod units involved make this a milestone for ABB,” said ABB Marine & Ports director Juha Koskela. “The fuel and emissions-saving capabilities of Azipod electric propulsion have made it the technology of choice for sensitive arctic conditions for almost 30 years, and we were delighted to leverage our experience to deliver safe and reliable technologies ahead of schedule in line with the project’s demands.”
ABB also supplied turbochargers, generators, switchboards, transformers, electric drives and propulsion control systems as part of its work scope. The order – one of the largest ever awarded to ABB Marine & Ports – was announced in H1 2014.
Arc7 ice class LNG carriers at a glance
Christophe de Margerie (2016) Sovcomflot
Boris Vilkitsky (2017) Dynagas
Fedor Litke (2017) Dynagas
Eduard Toll (2017) Teekay
Vladimir Rusanov (2018) MOL
Rudolf Samoylovich (2018) Teekay
Vladimir Vize (2018) MOL
Georgiy Brusilov (2018) Dynagas
Boris Davydov (2018) Dynagas
Nikolay Zubov (2018) Dynagas
Nikolay Yevgenov (2019) Teekay
Vladimir Voronin (2019) Teekay
Georgiy Ushakov (2019) Teekay
Yakov Gakkel (2019) Teekay
Nikolay Urvantsev (2019) MOL
Length: 299 m
Beam: 50 m
Draught: 11.7 m
Capacity: 172,000 m3
Propulsion: (3) 15-MW Azipods
Icebreaking capacity: 2.1 m level ice (astern)