Dredging company Jan de Nul of Belgium was contracted for the dredging works in the port of Sabetta, part of the Novatek-operated Yamal LNG project that recently shipped its first cargo.
According to Jan De Nul, the project was the company’s “biggest logistic challenge,” as it deployed 18 vessels divided into two groups as they tackled the task at hand in a twelve-week window when the area is not completely covered in ice.
One group of thirteen vessels dredged the access channel up to the LNG site, including a basin to be used as a turning basin for LNG tankers. The second group of five vessels dredged some 100 miles or 10 sailing hours further on to form a 50-km sea channel. The basin was deepened up to 15.2 meters. The access channel was widened to 315 meters and deepened up to 15.1 meters. The sea channel was widened from 210 to 295 meters and deepened to 15.1 meters.
Sabetta is situated in North Russia, on the north-eastern part of the Yamal peninsula in Siberia. It can be reached by ship via the northern sea route but only in the summer months July, August and September. In the rest of the year, the route freezes up, such that the annual dredging period is very short. Yamal LNG is the first LNG plant above the Arctic Circle, Jan De Nul notes.
The Belgian dredging company recently released a gallery of images describing the hard working conditions in the port.