Korea builds world’s first ever icebreaking LNG carrier – to Russia
The icebreaker will be deployed to Russia'sYamal project, a $30bn natural gas development project. (Image: DSME CO. Ltd)

Korea builds world’s first ever icebreaking LNG carrier – to Russia

One of Korea’s biggest shipbuilders Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has launched a carrier that can break ice and haul massive amounts of liquefied gas. It has the public backing of Russian President Vladimir Putin and China’s state-owned Silk Road Fund.  

– The carrier is classed for breaking through over 2 meters of ice, and can carry 170,000 cubic meters of liquefied gas. The carrier was launched Friday at DSME’s Okpo shipyard in Geoje, South Gyeongsang, the firm said.

300 meter long wessel

Now the Liquefied Natural Gas carrier heads for the Arctic and this 300 meter long vessel is made of super strong steel to break ice with the ability to sail at a speed of 9 kilometers per hour. The ship has heating cables to run the ship even at extreme temperatures of minus 52 degrees Celsius. 

– Ice-breaking cargo ships are common. But this is the first that can break ice AND carry LNG, sais Park Doo-Sun, Head of Project operating Team at DSME to Airlang News.

The vessel can carry up to 170-thousand cubic meters of natural gas, an amount that could be used by Korea’s population of 50 million for two days. 

The carrier is to serve the Yamal LNG project in the Russian Arctic.

– We think the ship will carry LNG for the next 30 years from Sabetta Port to the ports of Europe and also through the North Sea route, to China, Korea and Japan, sais Doo-sun to the Airlang News.

Public backing of Russian President Vladimir Putin 

While multiple companies (or consortiums) are taking stakes in the purchasing, DSME will be the shipbuilder for all 15 of the vessels through a contract tender with Sovcomflot according to The Maritime Executive

The Novatek-operated Yamal LNG project, on the Yamal Peninsula in the Kara Sea, is expected to produce 16.5 million tons per annum beginning 2017. It has the public backing of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has secured much of its required financing. China’s state-owned Silk Road Fund purchased a 10 percent equity stake in the project in December in return for a 15-year loan of $800 million. 

DSME faces significant financial pressure, like other Asian yards. It announced in December that it will be issuing $350 million in new shares to offset what is expected to be its biggest annual operating loss ever due to delays on offshore projects.

President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Presidential Press and Information Office/http://eng.kremlin

Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has launched the world’s first icebreaking vessel fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and is deployed to Russia’s Yamal project.
(Photo: Presidential Press and Information Office/http://eng.kremlin)

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