Russia’s largest independent natural gas producer Novatek has signed long-term charter deals for 14 Arc7 ice-class tankers for its Arctic LNG 2 project.

The company noted in its statement on Monday it has signed deals with Smart LNG, a joint venture between Novatek and Sovcomflot. The tankers will be built at the Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex.

The signing of the charter agreements allowed Smart LNG to conclude the corresponding contracts with the VEB.RF Group and Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex for the construction and lease financing of these vessels, Novatek said.

In October 2019, the contracts for chartering, financing, and construction of a pilot ice-class LNG tanker to be built at the Zvezda shipyard were signed.

Earlier, the participants of Arctic LNG 2, approved the construction of 15 Arc7 ice-class LNG tankers at Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex.

The construction of 15 ice-class LNG tankers ensures the core formation of the Arctic fleet for the project that will allow the year-round transport of LNG along the Northern Sea Route to the Asian Pacific region.

It is also seen as a major stimulus to the development of the Russian shipbuilding industry, according to the statement.

Arctic LNG 2 envisages constructing three LNG liquefaction trains of 6.6 million tons per annum each, as well as a cumulative gas condensate production capacity of 1.6 million tons per annum.

The total LNG capacity of the three liquefaction trains will be 19.8 million tons.

The project utilizes gravity-based structure (GBS) platforms to reduce overall capital cost and minimize its environmental footprint in the Arctic zone of Russia.

The project’s participants include Novatek (60 per cent), Total (10 per cent), CNPC (10 per cent), CNOOC (10 per cent) and the consortium of Mitsui and JOGMEC (10 per cent).

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