Sovcomflot-operated LNG carrier Pskov completed the first ship-to-ship transfer of fuel for the Yamal LNG project on 24 November when it loaded about 170,000 m3 of liquefied gas at a safe anchorage off the port of Honningsvag, Norway. The fuel had been delivered to the port, a small facility that caters mainly for fishing vessels, from Sabetta on the Yamal Peninsular by a Yamal LNG-chartered Arctic-class carrier.
The successful operation by 300-m long, 4-year-old Pskov, an Atlanticmax-class vessel, signals a new phase in developing the logistics supporting the Yamal project because ship-to-ship transfers mean the Arc7 ice-class carriers of the Christophe de Margerie series can make shorter round trips. This boosts the operational efficiency of the LNG project. The Arc7 carriers were purpose-designed for the challenging ice conditions of the Kara Sea.
In future two of the Sovcomflot-operated conventional carriers, Pskov and Melampus, another Atlanticmax vessel, are likely to be engaged in similar operations for Yamal. Currently, Sovcomflot’s 13 gas carriers (out of a total fleet of 147 vessels) are chartered by Gazprom, Sakhalin Energy, Shell, Sibur and Tangguh LNG as well as Yamal.
As the gas-carrier fleet becomes busier, it has boosted the revenues of St. Petersburg-based Sovcomflot. In 2017, it grew revenues by 17.4% compared with 2016, increasing its share of total group revenues from 12.3% to 15.6%.