Cargoes transhipped from Yamal LNG in the Russian market will require 10 additional conventional LNG carriers to supplement the 15 ice-class vessels booked to the project, Novatek´s CEO Leonid Mikhelson said on April 5, 2017.
Speaking to a small gathering of journalists at Gastech in Tokyo, Mr Mikhelson said the non-ice-class ships will support transhipment of cargoes via the ports of Montoir in France and Zeebrugge in Belgium.
The news brings no cheer for LNG-specialist shipyards, however.
Novatek expects to charter in that tonnage from the existing fleet.
Novatek will charter in the tonnage and could fix the vessels as early as this autumn, the Novatek founder said.
«We hope to confirm the fleet this autumn,» Leonid Mikhelson told LNG World Shipping. «We are expecting that tonnage to be available on the market. There have been reports that as much as 30 % of LNG is now traded on the spot market. We think that figure is not correct, as it includes cargoes fixed to medium-term contracts. We think the spot market is something like 15 % of all volumes and that it will be possible for us to contract that tonnage. The critical thing for Yamal LNG was ordering the ice-class LNG carriers.»
Future projects may boost orders, however. Mr Mikhelson confirmed that Novatek will press ahead with Arctic LNG 2, its 2nd LNG-export venture in the Russian Arctic.
The project will be similar in size to the 15.6 million tonnes a year Yamal LNG project, which suggests it may need a similar supporting fleet of ice-class and conventional LNG carriers.
Arctic LNG 2 is being developed under Russian government decree, setting a 2023 deadline for the project, Mr Mikhelson said.
However, Novatek hopes to complete the project by 2022.
The company is courting Japanese investors and sees Asia’s emerging consumers as end-buyers for these future Arctic cargoes.
Meanwhile, Yamal LNG could produce its 1st cargoes as early as October, Sovcomflot CEO Sergey Frank told LNG World Shipping at Gastech this morning.
The Russian shipowner owns and manages Christophe de Margerie, the 1st ice-class LNG carrier to hit the water.
Sovcomflot will name the 172,000m³ Christophe de Margerie at a ceremony in St Petersburg on 3 June.
The world’s most powerful LNG carrier completed its ice trials this spring.