Smart LNG, the shipping joint venture between Russian companies Sovcomflot (SCF) and Novatek, has signed contracts with Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex to construct ten icebreaking Arc7 LNG carriers.
The vessels are being financed by Russian state development corporation VEB. RF and being chartered by Smart LNG on long-term time charters to Arctic LNG 2, the operator of the Arctic LNG 2 project.
The new deal takes the total number of LNG carriers ordered by the Russian pair to 15 vessels. They will all operate under the Russian flag, and the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping is providing supervision during the construction of the vessels.
Igor Tonkovidov, president and CEO of SCF, commented: “We are pleased to see that this new generation of Arctic LNG carriers, which will contribute significantly to growing the cargo traffic along the Northern Sea Route, was designed based on SCF’s long-standing experience of safely operating vessels in ice conditions. Equally significant is the fact that the cooperation between SCF, Novatek, VEB.RF Group and Russian shipbuilders paves the way for establishing the domestic production of LNG carriers, which entails adopting advanced technologies and engineering solutions.”