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China LNG carrier makes first Northern Sea Route voyage to deliver Yamal gas directly to Jiangsu

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and China COSCO Shipping Corporation’s Ice-Breaking LNG carrier Vladimir Rusanov made its first Northern Sea Route (NSR) transit without ice breaker support and also made its first call at the PetroChina LNG Jiangsu Terminal, marking the first direct LNG delivery to China from the Yamal LNG project, this week.

The vessel has begun LNG transportation services for the Yamal LNG project, transporting the super-cooled gas from the LNG plant at Russia’s Sabetta Port, since the end of March 2018, but its latest voyage during the northern summer season was the first opportunity for the vessel to navigate independently eastwards along the NSR.

The vessel passed the Bering Strait on July 6 and safely made its first call at PetroChina LNG Jiangsu Terminal in China on July 17. The net voyage time from Sabetta to Jiangsu excluding stoppages for adjusting arrival time was just 19 days, shaving weeks off the normal voyage time of over a month for the traditional Suez Canal route.

The vessel’s first call at PetroChina LNG Jiangsu Terminal was marked with a ceremony held by PetroChina parent group China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

Among the many important guests were Leonid Mikhelson of PAO Novatek, the major shareholder in the Yamal LNG project; Zhang Jianhua of CNPC; Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy for the Russian Federation; and Nur Bekri of the National Energy Administration (NEA) of China.

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