One of the world’s most advanced port icebreakers will be mobilised to keep a new LNG terminal in the Russian Arctic open for shipments
Aker Arctic-designed Ob will ensure LNG carriers can continue loading cargo at the Sabetta LNG terminal in the Gulf of Ob in Siberia throughout the year including the nine months when the Port of Sabetta is ice-bound.
A fleet of LNG carriers sail from the export terminal through the Gulf of Ob to the Kara Sea to transport liquefied gas along the Northern Sea Route to export markets in Europe and Asia.
Ob can break up to 1.5 m thick ice in both ahead and astern directions. It was built at Vyborg Shipyard as a compact ice-breaking vessel based on an Aker ARC 124 design.
In September, Ob conducted sea trials outside of Vyborg, Russia. This 89-m vessel has a beam of 22 m and is propelled by four 3-MW Azipod units supplied by ABB.
Aker Arctic said the design for this 12-MW icebreaker was “optimised for ice breaking within the harbour basin in very thick consolidated and refrozen brash ice”.
These are the conditions it will operate within the Sabetta LNG terminal on the Yamal Peninsula where the third LNG production train was opened in Q4 2018.
The first batch of LNG was loaded from this third train on to Arc7 ice-class LNG tanker Christophe de Margerie in December 2018.
Novatek is transporting LNG from the Russian High Arctic to European and Asian markets using a fleet of 15 ice-breaking LNG carriers built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in Korea.
By operating stern-first in ice-breaking mode, these ‘double-acting’ Yamal carriers are able to proceed through ice up to 1.8 m thick on a continuous basis.
Sabetta’s fleet of dedicated port icebreakers are kept busy for over seven months of the year, keeping the channel to the terminal’s two LNG jetties clear.
First-year ice begins to form and thicken in the vicinity of the Yamal terminal around mid-October and remains in place through the following June.
Riviera Maritime Media is holding its LNG Ship/Shore Interface Conference in London on 28-29 November with awards and an exhibition