Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Junichiro Ikeda) announced that on December 21, a naming ceremony for an ice-breaking LNG carrier, which was jointly ordered by MOL and China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited (China COSCO Shipping), was held at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. (DSME).
As a crowd of VIPs and personnel related to the project looked on, the newbuilding vessel was named the “Vladimir Rusanov” by Ms. Veronika Makeeva of PAO Novatek, the major shareholder of the Yamal LNG project. The name is derived from Russian Arctic explorer and geologist. The Vladimir Rusanov is the first of three newbuilding vessels for MOL and China COSCO Shipping’s fleets in the Yamal LNG Project(*1). The vessel is slated to go into service at the end of March 2018, following delivery at the end of December and ice trials (ice-breaking sea trials) in Arctic waters.
The Vladimir Rusanov and its sister ships will have independent ice-breaking capabilities enabling them to sail in seas with ice up to 2.1m thick. The vessels will transport LNG from the Yamal LNG plant at Sabetta on Russia’s Yamal Peninsula to worldwide LNG markets throughout the year. They will also be able to sail on the Arctic Sea Route to transport LNG to East Asia via the Bering Strait during the summer months. They are expected to make major contributions from various aspects such as improvement of LNG transport efficiency, establishment of a new transport route, and further reduction of CO2 emissions by shortening sailing distances.
MOL has allocated engineers to DSME to ensure safety and quality during the construction of these high-quality vessels, which are the world’s first ice-breaking LNG carriers, and promoted the project under a cooperative relationship with China COSCO Shipping.
In addition, MOL has carefully prepared a ship management system for operation in the Arctic Ocean, through special training of seafarers at Russian training institutes as well as training onboard ice-breakers and module carriers in operation in the Arctic.
Furthermore, along with its partner China COSCO Shipping, MOL has had the long-term charter contract for four conventional LNG carriers serving the Yamal LNG project, which MOL signed (*2) based on the trusting relationships with Russian and Chinese partners. The conventional vessels serving the project will be launched from 2019 to 2020.
MOL works continuously to accumulate the most advanced know-how and resources of Arctic Ocean operations throughout this project, and further develops high-quality ocean transport services in response to the needs of global customer.