Christophe de Margerie is also the first unescorted merchant vessel ever to take this route, which makes it possible to reach Asia via the Bering Strait in 15 days versus 30 days via the Suez Canal.
The ship is the first of the 15 ice-class LNG carriers that will transport natural gas from the Yamal LNG project and she was christened in Saint Petersburg, on June 3.
This technological feat was made possible through the participation of Total teams to the design of these next-generation LNG carriers. Compilations of technology, they efficiently transport large quantities of LNG year-round, without requiring escort icebreakers during the period from July to November.
The ships have been specially designed for Yamal LNG, a flagship Total project (20%) in northern Russia to develop the giant onshore South Tambey gas and condensate field with the construction of a liquefaction plant. Ultimately, close to 16.5 million tons of LNG a year will transit through the port of Sabetta, built specifically for the project.