Russian gas producer Novatek has entered into a joint venture agreement with Sovcomflot to create a shipping joint venture.
Under the agreement, the two parties intend to create a shipping company with the potential involvement of other joint venture participants. The joint venture will focus on managing the construction and operations of Arctic ice-class LNG carriers to support transportation demands from Novatek’s future LNG projects in the Russian Arctic region, including the Arctic LNG 2 project.
“The efficient development of the Northern Sea Route as a viable, year-round navigational route requires consolidating experience in ice navigation, applying new technological solutions, and implementing the best international standards for navigational safety and training,” said Leonid Mikhelson, Novatek’s chairman.
“An optimized model of transporting LNG from the Russian Arctic region via the Northern Sea Route to major global markets, including the Asia-Pacific region, will support the successful implementation of Novatek’s Arctic LNG projects as well as reaching the goal set by the Russian President to ensure an increase in annual cargo traffic along the Northern Sea Route to 80m tons in 2024,” Mikhelson added.
Earlier this year, Novatek outlined plans to get LNG exports moving through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) all-year round and Splash understood Russian yards have started building a series of giant nuclear-powered icebreakers, which are mean to deliver in four years’ time.