Russian shipowner Sovcomflot and Novatek, the country’s second largest gas producer, are establishing a joint venture, OOO Smart, to manage the year-round logistics of both current Arctic LNG transport and possible future projects.
Sergey Frank, president and CEO of Sovcomflot and Leonid Mikhelson, chairman of the Management Board of Novatek have signed an agreement, committing to setting up the new company by the year end. OOO Smart, registered in Vladivostok, will provide future ship designs, oversee technical aspects of LNG carrier construction, arrange finance for the ships as well as owning and managing them.
A new generation of 17 Arc7 LNG carriers is to be built at Zvezda shipbuilding complex. The vessels are likely to be delivered between 2023 and 2026. Their design will differ from existing LNG tankers in the Christophe de Margerie series, with a different hull form and improved icebreaking capabilities. The Russian-flagged ships will be able to carry LNG exports eastwards from the Gulf of Ob all year round.