On 11 December 2018 the world’s first LNG icebreaker, Christophe de Margerie, loaded the first batch of liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced at the third train of Yamal LNG plant, at the Port of Sabetta on the Yamal Peninsula. This has been achieved a year ahead of the initial schedule and within the original budget.
The vessel’s Master Sergey Zybko started the cargo operations after Dmitry Medvede’s, the Russian Prime Minister, call for initiation via a video conference.
The ceremony was attended by Alexander Novak, Russia’s Minister of Energy, Dmitry Artyukhov, the Governor of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, Leonid Mikhelson, Chairman & CEO of Novatek, Evgeny Ambrosov, Senior Executive Vice President of Sovcomflot, the company which owns and operates the vessel as well as representatives from Total, CNPC, and Silk Road Fund.
This is a significant milestone for the entire Russian gas industry and, of course, for our international partners, and for international cooperation in the energy sector. For half a century, our country has been successfully cooperating with its European neighbours in the natural gas sector; now we are making forays into Asian markets.
The Russian Prime Minister noted and congratulated Yamal LNG on reaching full production capacity.
Yamal LNG has reached full capacity at the plant’s three LNG trains. Namely, Yamal LNG Project is embodied with three liquefaction trains with a total capacity of 16.5 mmtpa, or 5.5 mmtpa per LNG train and up to 1.2 mtpa of gas condensate, with ultimate destinations the Asia Pacific markets and Europe.
Furthermore, it has been decided to build a fourth train with the capacity of up to 1 mtpa based on Novatek’s proprietary liquefaction technology called Arctic Cascade.
The project is supported by a fleet of Arc7 ice-class tankers supplemented by lower ice-class designated tankers to transport LNG cargos, like the ‘Christophe de Margerie’, which is the world’s first top category ice class LNG carrier. The vessel has been custom-designed and built for the Yamal LNG project, and she is under a 20-year contract to perform year-round navigation through the Arctic to its destination markets.