Dynagas, the Greek company has agreed to purchase five icebreaking LNG carriers owned by Russian shipping company, Sovcomflot for serving the company’s LNG project in Russia. These ships were to have been owned by Sovcomflot but financing constraints forced the party to change the ownership.
The Russia’s biggest shipping company, Sovcomflot had laid down the keel of its new Arctic supertanker on March 23 for its first Yamalmax liquefied natural gas. The ship, which is the first of its kind, would be 984 feet long and able to break through 6.9 feet of Arctic ice. It is being manufactured by Korean Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and would be ready for operations in 2016. The contract was for the five ships having 172,000 m3 icebreaking LNG carriers, designed in the Arc7 ice-class. These ships are part of a 15-vessel new-building program to serve the company’s LNG project in Russia.
However, the role of the Russian shipping company in the Yamal LNG project appears to be ambiguous due to the company’s financial crisis. The delivery of ships is scheduled to be in 2017 and an increase in the cost of each vessel is predicted by approximately $320 million. Also, the financing for the building of the quintet was not completed. At the same time, Dynagas, the Greek company has shown its interest in the purchase of the new icebreaking LNG carriers. It also offered funds more than $1.5 billion for the vessels. The rest of the vessels in the Yamal’s new-building program of 15 ships were awarded to a consortium of Teekay LNG and China LNG Shipping. It will own six of the new buildings. The other three would be taken by Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), together with China Shipping Development. The Russian Sovcomflot will be left with one of the Yamal vessels.
The special features of the Arc7 ice-class design are given below:
- Allow new LNG carriers to independently traverse icy seas with ice thickness of up to 2.1 metres
- Have the capacity to transport LNG from the Yamal LNG plant at Sabetta
- To use the Northern Sea Route to transport LNG to East Asia during the summer season
Dynagas a leader in ice-class LNG shipping has its own fleet of 10 LNG carriers. These ships are built by Hyundai Heavy Industries. Mr. Prokopiou, CEO of Dynagas, has shared that the development of Arctic LNG shipping had been long-awaited by its company and proud of their experience to face the challenges of the equipment.