South Korea’s Daewoo is building transshipment barges that will help significantly cut shipping times for liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes bound for Asia and Europe from the giant Yamal LNG and Arctic LNG 2 projects.

In June 2020, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering won an order to build LNG barges for Russian project sponsor Novatek.

The two 360,000 cubic metre barges have a total price of $748 million, with an option for two additional units. Daewoo expects to deliver the first two by the end of 2022.

The barges will allow the transfer cargoes from the costly icebreaking LNG carriers that serve Novatek’s Yamal LNG plant in the Russian Arctic onto general-purpose LNG carriers at intermediate positions along the route to the market.

One of the terminals will be stationed at Kamchatka and a second one near Murmansk, just outside of the icebound portions of the Northern Sea Route.

They will also service the Arctic LNG 2 project, which is currently under development. This involves the construction of three LNG trains, with a capacity of 6.6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG each, and at least 1.6 mtpa of stable gas condensate.

The Utrenneye field is the resource base for Arctic LNG 2. It is located on the Gydan Peninsula, 70 kilometres across the Ob Bay from Yamal LNG.

Compared with MOL’s previous icebreaking LNG carriers, which can only sail eastbound in the Northern Sea Route during summer and autumn when the ice is thin, the new vessels will have a narrower width, hull form optimised for ice breaking, and an increased propulsion engine output which will enable the vessels to sail east via the Northern Sea Route all year round.

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7th January 2021