Japan’s First Ice-breaking LNG Tanker Enters Service

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On March 28, Japan’s first icebreaker tanker was launched into service in the Arctic ocean. The tanker is manufactured by South Korean firm Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.

The vessel is 299-meters long, 50-meter-wide vessel is capable of sailing in seas with ice up to 2.1 meters thick.

LNG transportation

The tanker built by shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. to transport liquefied natural gas from a Russian plant to Europe, becoming the first Japanese firm to own and operate such a vessel.

Shorten travel time

The Vladimir Rusanov named after Russian geologist and explorer will deliver LNG from a gas plant in Sabbeta on Russia’s Yamal Peninsula to a port in Rotterdam in the Netherlands using an Arctic route that shortens the travel time between Europe and Asia. It is one of three ice-breaking tankers Mitsui has ordered for the Yamal LNG project led by Russian natural gas producer Novatek.

Operation to begin in December

The project, which began operations in December last year, will involve an order for 15 of the ice-breaking LNG tankers with an eye toward expanding routes eastward to Asia.

Round the clock service

The Vladimir Rusanov, jointly owned by a Chinese shipping company, is expected to deliver LNG from the Yamal plant year-round. During the summer, it is able to sail to East Asia via the Bering Strait.

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Source: Japan Times

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