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VIDEO: First ice-breaking LNG carrier docks at Yamal terminal

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Christophe de Margerie

MARCH 31, 2017 — Christophe de Margerie, the world’s first ice-breaking LNG tanker, yesterday successfully berthed at the Yamal LNG terminal at Sabetta Port in Russia— and Russian President Vladimir Putin was there to greet it, at least by videolink.

After the vessel’s master, Sergey Zybko, reported the successful completion of ice trials and the first mooring at the Yamal LNG terminal at Sabetta, President Putin congratulated all involved in the project.

Saying he was “somewhat amazed at the accomplishments,” President Putin said that “there is no question that Russia can and will become one of the world’s biggest producers of liquefied natural gas. We have everything we need for this and every reason to believe that we can achieve this goal,”

Owned by Sovcomflot, the 172,600 cu.m Christophe de Margerie has an Arc 7 ice class, the highest ice class for merchant vessels and is capable of sailing independently through ice up to 2.1 m thick.

She is the first a series of 15 Yamalmax gas carriers ordered at South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME).

The propulsion system of the new gas carrier consists of three Azipod VI units. They provide a very high degree of maneuverability, and allow use of the stern-first motion (Double Acting Tanker, DAT function) principle, necessary to overcome hummocks and heavy ice fields.

According to Sovcomflot, during ice trials, which took place from February 19 to March 8, 2017 in the Kara and Laptev Seas the vessel proved her capability to move stern-first in 1.5 m thick ice at a speed of 7.2 knots (target figure was 5 knots) and head-on at a speed of 2.5 knots (target figure was 2 knots);
The turning circle of the ship in 1.7 m thick ice was 1,760 m against the targeted 3,000 m.

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