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Zvezda Shipyard Commences Construction of Third Ice-Class Gas Carrier

13 April 2021

The Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex has commenced the construction of the third LNG carrier tanker of the ARC 7 ice class. The first part of the new ship was cut in the hull production unit using a high-tech plasma-cutting machine. The production of this type of vessels, a unique event for Russian shipyards, is one of the priority areas of the production programme of the Zvezda Shipyard.

The gas carriers are built in interests of PJSC Novatek for the Arctic LNG 2 project. The project to build the new vessels is financed by VEB.RF. The Zvezda Shipyard and the companies of the VEB.RF Group signed contracts for the construction of 15 gas carrier vessels for liquefied gas transportation in complicated ice conditions of the Northern Sea Route. The tankers will be used for long-term time charter contracts between Sovcomflot Group (for the pilot gas carrier), SMART LNG LLC (a subsidiary of Sovcomflot Group and Novatek, for the other 14 ships in the series) and Arctic LNG 2 LLC (a subsidiary of Novatek).

Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex is the first shipyard in Russia to implement a project to construct such vessels. Liquefied gas tankers of ice-class Arc7 are designed to transport liquefied natural gas and can perform in severe climate conditions. The length of the vessel is 300 m, width 48.8 m, capacity of cargo tanks 172,600 m3. These vessels feature increased environmental safety; they use liquefied natural gas as their primary fuel.

The gas carrier’s design allows it to individually pull through the ice of up to 2 m thick. The capacity of the gas carrier’s power station is 45 MW. The ship is equipped with three unique steerable thrusters whose production is localised in Bolshoy Kamen at the Sapphire Steerable Thrusters Plant, a joint venture of Rosneft and GE.

A distinctive feature of the gas carriers is the Mark III membrane-type LNG storage system, a licence to which the shipyard was also the first in the country to obtain.

Note for Editors:

The Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex is constructed by the Rosneft-led Consortium upon the instruction of President of Russia Vladimir Putin. At the moment, the shipyard’s order portfolio amounts to over 50 vessels. The Shipyard’s pilot throughput is provided for by Rosneft that placed an order for 28 vessels. Zvezda’s product line will include vessels of up to 350,000 tonnes displacement, marine drilling platforms, nuclear icebreakers and ice-class vessels, large-capacity cargo vessels, including gas carriers, specialty vessels, and other types of marine equipment of any complexity, characteristics and purposes, including the equipment that had not previously produced in Russia due to the lack of required launching and hydraulic structures.

In July 2020, Zvezda signed a technical assistance and licensing agreement with the French engineering company Gaztransport & Technigaz, which specialises in developing and licensing the construction of cryogenic membrane systems for LNG transportation and storage, obtained an international licence and became the only Russian shipyard that can build LNG carriers with the Mark 3 membrane storage system.

A steerable thruster, the key element of a ship’s electro-motional system that influences its performance and manoeuvrability, will be the first Russian product of this class.

In order to design and localise the manufacture of steerable thrusters for ice-class vessels, Rosneft and GE established two joint ventures, the Sapphire Applied Engineering and Training Centre (St. Petersburg) and the Sapphire Steerable Thrusters Plant (Bolshoy Kamen).

The key task of the JV is to localise production of steerable thrusters and ship electric propulsion systems at the Zvezda shipyard site in Primorsky Krai. The design capacity of the plant allows satisfying the demand for this equipment for vessels of various classes including high ice-class gas carriers. The Sapphire Steerable Thrusters Plant is a resident of the Bolshoy Kamen Priority Social and Economic Development Area.

The plant will manufacture high ice-class steerable thrusters with the capacity from 7.5 MW to 20 MW.

Information Division
April 13, 2021

Keywords: Environmental News 2021