The vessel carried out a LNG loading operation in the Yamal LNG plant at Sabetta port, before sailing for the Far East via the Northern Sea Route on June 25, MOL said in a press release. The vessel safely arrived at the Bering Strait on July 6, and is planning to call Jiangsu Rudong port in China for an unloading operation of its LNG cargo.
The vessel is the first of three newbuilding vessels destined for the MOL and China COSCO Shipping fleets in the Yamal LNG Project announced in July 2014.
Since the vessel started LNG transportation services at the end of March 2018, she has transported four LNG cargoes to Europe via transiting westwards. With the arrival of the summer transit season in the Arctic, the vessel had its first opportunity to navigate eastwards along the Northern Sea Route to East Asia via the Bering Strait without ice-breaker support. This voyage also marks a first for the Yamal LNG Project’s direct LNG delivery to East Asia.
The voyage sets a new benchmark in the transportation of natural resources from the Arctic via the shorter Northern Sea Route, giving further momentum to natural resource development in the Arctic. This will be of considerable benefit to meet the growing energy needs of many natural resource importing Asian countries, including Japan and China.