Russia: GAC wins Yamal LNG ship management deal

Two Arctic LNG carriers at the Yamal export facility (Image courtesy of Novatek)

GAC Russia, a unit of the Dubai-headquartered GAC Group, has won a contract by the Novatek-operated Yamal LNG export project in Russia.

Yamal LNG has appointed GAC Russia to manage its fleet of ice-breaker tankers at Sabetta port where the liquefaction facility is located for the next three years.

Under the deal, GAC Russia will handle an estimated 400 port calls every year; 200 in Sabetta and an additional 200 globally, it said in a statement on Friday.

GAC did not reveal the value of the deal.

The company said the deal comes following GAC’s successful in-port support for the project since 2015 and the management of last spring’s ice trials for the ice braking carrier Christophe De Margerie, a new breed of tanker able to transport LNG unaided year-round.

Fifteen Arc7 ice-class carriers will serve the Yamal LNG project.

“Sabetta presents a challenge to conventional LNG transportation, as the sea is frozen for up to nine months of the year and temperatures can drop as low as -50°C,” the statement said.

The three-train Yamal LNG plant, designed to produce about 16.5 million tonnes per year, started liquefying and shipping the fuel in December. It is Russia’s second LNG export facility.

The project is a joint venture between Novatek, the operator with a 50.1 percent stake, China’s CNPC and Total of France with a 20 percent stake, each and China’s Silk Road Fund with a 9.9 percent stake.

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