MOSCOW/OSLO: It is the first commercial voyage of the unique vessel, originally built for company Novatek and its grand Yamal LNG project. The «Christophe de Margerie» one of the last days of July loaded LNG at Statoil’s Melkøya gas terminal on the Norwegian Barents Sea coast and set course eastwards.
On 1 August the ship entered the Kara Sea on its way to North Korea, Yamal LNG informs. It will make it through the Northern Sea Route without icebreaker assistance, the company says. The voyage is expected to take 15 days.
Information from ship tracking service Marine Traffic shows that the tanker on Tuesday afternoon was making it through the straits separating the Bolshevik Island and the Russian mainland, the gate between the Kara Sea and the Laptev Sea.
The tanker sailed north of archipelago Novaya Zemlya. Information from the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute indicates that the ship encountered its first ice only in the eastern part of the Kara Sea. More complicated ice conditions will be met in the waters around the New Siberian Islands and the more eastern Wrangle Island.
The ‘Christophe de Margerie’ is well fit for the voyage. It has ice-protection level Arc7 and is capable to autonomously break through 2,1 meter of ice.
According to shipping company Sovcomflot, the owner, the LNG tanker has an engine power of 45 MW, which is «comparable with a nuclear powered icebreaker».