CHRISTOPHE DE MARGERIE CROSSES NORTHERN SEA ROUTE IN RECORD 6.5 DAYS
The Christophe de Margerie tanker built for transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as part of the Yamal-LNG project, has completed the first commercial trip covering the Northern Sea Route in a record time of 6.5 days, the press service of Russia’s largest shipping company Sovcomflot reported. In total it took 22 days for the LNG tanker to cover the whole distance of the commercial trip from Norway to South Korea.
The Christophe de Margerie was built by the order of Sovcomflot to provide year-round transportation for LNG in the difficult ice conditions of the Kara Sea and Gulf of Ob (Yamal LNG project). The vessel was commissioned by Sovcomflot on 27 March 2017 following her successful ice trials in the Arctic Ocean.
The LNG carrier was named after Christophe de Margerie, the former CEO of Total, who had played a key role in developing investment decisions and a technological basis for the Yamal LNG project. He had also made a major contribution to the development of Russo-French economic relations in general.
Yamal LNG is a large-scale project on creating a liquefied natural gas production facility with 16.5 mln tonnes per year capacity. The project involves the creation of transport infrastructure, including a seaport and an airport near the Sabetta village (north-east of the Yamal Peninsula). The company’s shareholders are Russia’s gas company Novatek – 50.1%, France’s Total – 20%, China’s CNPC – 20% and the Silk Road Fund – 9.9%.
The Northern Sea Route is the main sea route in the Russian Arctic. The Russian Ministry of Transport forecasts cargo turnover along the Northern Sea Route by 2020 will grow tenfold to 65 million tons per year. The route crosses seas of the Arctic Ocean (Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, and Chukotka) and partially the Pacific Ocean (the Bering Sea). The Northern Sea Route from the Kara Gate to the Providence Bay is about 5,600 km long. The distance between Saint Petersburg to Vladivostok along the Northern Sea Route is more than 14,000 km, while the distance vessels cover by the Suez Canal is more than 23,000 km. The navigation lasts for 2-4 months, but icebreakers extend this term. (Source: TAAS Agency)