The ice-class LNG carrier Eduard Atoll was in the port of Zeebrugge on Tuesday conducting the first ship-to-ship transfer of liquified natural gas from the Yamal LNG plant in northern Russia for transhipment to Asia.
The transfer was carried out with the conventional LNG carrier Pskov via onshore pipelines.
Russian commissioned $27 billion Yamal LNG plant in 2017. With an output capacity of 16.5 million tonnes of LNG per year, the Yamal project comprises the production, liquefaction and shipping of natural gas from enormous gas resources on Russia’s Yamal Peninsula to global markets. Gas from the plant is shipped from the Port of Sabetta on the northeast tip of the Yamal Peninsula, where the Yamal LNG plant is located, aboard a specialized fleet of high ice-class “Arc7” LNG carriers.
The Fluxys terminal at the Port of Zeebrugge was selected in 2015 as a transhipment hub for Yamal LNG. The 20-year contract with Fluxys calls for the transshipment of up to 8 million tons of LNG per year in Zeebrugge in support year-round LNG deliveries from Yamal to Asian-Pacific markets.
During the Arctic summer, Yamal LNG will be delivering cargoes to Asian-Pacific markets via the Northern Sea Route using the ice-class vessels. Come winter time, the vessels will shuttle from Sabetta to Zeebrugge, where the LNG is temporarily stored before being transhipped onto conventional LNG vessels for further transportation to the Asian markets.
Zeebrugge received its first LNG cargo from Yamal in April.
AIS ship tracking data showed the Eduard Atoll depart the port of Sabetta on April 22. In February, the Eduard Atoll completed an unescorted voyage across the Northern Sea Route in the dead of winter, marking a historic first.
The vessel is fourth of 15 Arc7 vessels being built in support of the project.