Russia’s largest independent gas producer Novatek has asked the Russian Government to approve its plan to place an order for 10 additional ice-breaking LNG carriers worth US$3Bn at an “overseas shipyard”
A report by Business Korea said South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries could land the shipbuilding order. If the 10-vessel order goes ahead, it would increase the number of LNG carriers for Novatek’s Arctic LNG 2 project to 25. Russia’s Zvezda Shipyard is expected to build 15 LNG carriers for the project.
A contract for an initial pilot vessel for the project has been signed with Zvedza Shipyard, which has a technology transfer partnership with SHI. Built to Russian Register Arc7 for year-round operation in second-year ice with old ice inclusions with a thickness of 2.5 m, the initial vessel is expected to be delivered in Q1 2023.
It is the first time an LNG carrier will be built in Russia. The cost to build the 15 LNGCs is estimated at US$4.5Bn or US$300M per vessel.
Class society Bureau Veritas has issued an approval in principle (AiP) for a new version of GTT’s Mark III Flex cargo containment system specifically designed for use in the ice-breaking LNG carriers. The AiP certificate was awarded in a ceremony at Gastech 2019 in Houston in September.
Since being introduced in 2011, GTT’s Mark III Flex technology has been used in 66 LNG carriers and one floating storage regasification unit in service. By GTT’s calculations, the insulation solution provided by the Mark III Flex CCS reduces the daily guaranteed boil-off gas rate to 0.085% of tank volume.
At Krylov State Research Centre in St Petersburg, Russia, the newly developed Arctic version of Mark III Flex underwent vibration and acceleration testing, simulating the system’s behaviour when the ship is underway in ice-breaking operations.
Similar testing was performed on GTT’s NO96 membrane cargo containment system, which was used for the first 15 LNG carriers designed to service Russia’s Yamal LNG. These were designed by Finland’s Aker Arctic Technology, built at South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and classed by Bureau Veritas. Yamal LNG charters the vessels from Sovcomflot, Mitsui OSK Lines, Dynagas and Teekay LNG Shipping.
Those LNGCs, with a capacity of 172,000 m3 each, were designed with a special double-acting hull form with a moderate ice bow forward and a heavy ice-breaking profile aft. The design allows the LNGC to navigate in light ice or open sea bow first and astern to break heavy ice. The astern icebreaking mode is assisted by a three-pod thruster propulsion system that delivers around 45 MW of power. Separate enginerooms housing the diesel generator power plants are encased in a double hull to provide protection from the ice and a high level of redundancy.