First Yamal LNG Arc7 floated

Pioneering vessel for SCF Group hits the water at DSME in Korea.

South Korean shipyard DSME has launched the world’s first ice-breaking LNG carrier for Russia’s SCF Group.

The 172,600-cbm vessel, one of fifteen specialised Arc7 ice-class LNG newbuildings contracted to serve the Novatek-led Yamal LNG project in the Russian Arctic, was floated out this morning when DSME flooded its Royal Dock No.5 at the yard’s Okpo Shipyard.

The float-out follows a pre-launch ceremony held at the shipyard last week.

The LNG carrier will now undergo outfitting work.

The prototype vessel, which is capable of moving through ice of 2.1-metre thickness and operating in temperatures of minus 52 degrees centigrade, is scheduled to leave the yard in October for the 16.5-million tonnes per annum liquefaction project’s Sabetta Port on the Yamal Peninsula.

Here it will undergo ice-trials before being delivered to the project to start its long-term charter in 2017.

Of the remaining 14 Yamal LNG carriers, Teekay working in partnership with China LNG Shipping (Holdings) has contracted six Arc7 ships, Mitsui OSK Lines paired with China shipping Development Co (CLNG) three and Dynagas teamed with Sinotrans a further five.

Russian energy giant Novatek currently holds a 60% shareholding in the project, with Total and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) controlling 20% stakes, but other incoming shareholders including China’s Silk Road Fund are expected to change this line-up.