Two LNG carriers set to reach Yamal after delivering cargoes to China amid ice-bound Northern Sea Route

Thursday, 25 November 2021
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Two liquefied natural gas LNG carriers, the “Boris Davydov” and the “Rudolf Samoilovich” after safely completing the final leg of their East-West voyages on the Northern Sea Route which has become ice-bound earlier in the 2021-2022 winter season.

“Two LNG carriers Boris Davydov (in the Laptev Sea) and Rudolf Samoilovich (in the East Siberian Sea) continue their voyages to the port of Sabetta without ice-breaker support,” said the NSR information office.

The 172,000 cubic metres capacity “Boris Davydov” was due to berth on November 25 at the Novatek-operated Yamal LNG export plant at Sabetta in northern Siberia.

The vessel had previously delivered an LNG shipment to the Chinese port of Jiangsu, according to the Russian NSR data.

The “Rudolf Samoilovich” was also heading for Sabetta and is scheduled to arrive on November 27. The ship had last visited the Russian Far East port of Nakhodka, though had delivered a shipment of LNG to the Tangshan terminal in the Caofeidian Industrial Zone of Hebei province.


“At the time of the report, their speed was 16-18 knots,” added the NSR body.

However, another vessel, the “Mechanic Pustoshnyy”, is drifting in the Laptev Sea, and a second ship, the “Mikhail Somov”, is adrift in the western part of the Vilkitskiy Strait.

The report concluded that in the western part of the NSR, the icebreaker “Yamal” finished the escorting of the ships “Yurii Arshenevskiy” and “Vitus Bering” at Cape Zhelaniya.

The Yamal plant is the focus of NSR energy shipping activity. It has three liquefaction Trains on stream, each with nameplate capacity of 5.5 million tonnes per annum, as well as a smaller fourth Train with 900,000 tonnes of output, taking overall production to 17.4 MTPA.

All the LNG vessels serving Yamal LNG are around 172,000 cubic metres capacity and have ice-class Arc7 notation.

The Arc7 design allows ice-class LNG carriers to break through ice that is up to 2 metres thick.

The Russian shipbuilding company, Zvezda Shipbuilding, is building a series of 15 next-generation Arc7 ice-class LNG vessels for Russian natural gas company Novatek’s Arctic LNG II project under construction on the Gydan Peninsula in the same region as the Yamal facility.

These newbuild Arc7 LNG vessels have increased ice-breaking and manoeuvring characteristics compared with the existing fleet used by the Novatek-operated Yamal LNG project.

The 15 carriers will be registered and flagged under the Russian Federation and operated by the Russian crew when delivered. 

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