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A keel-laying ceremony was held on Tuesday (15 June) at the Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex in the Russia’s Far East for a new Arctic LNG carrier ordered by Sovcomflot.

The ship is the lead vessel in a series of 15 carriers that Sovcomflot has ordered from Zvezda for the Arctic LNG 2 project.

This vessel will be owned by Sovcomflot, while the remaining 14 ships will be owned by SMART LNG, a joint venture between Sovcomflot and Novatek.

All the vessels in the series, which will operate under long-term time-charter contracts with Arctic LNG 2, are scheduled for delivery in 2023-2025.

Each carrier will be 300 metres long, 48.8 metres wide, and will have a cargo capacity of 172,600 cubic metres (cbm). The propulsion system includes three azimuth propulsion units, with a total power capacity of 45 MW.

Sovcomflot currently has 20 large-capacity tankers ordered from Zvezda, with a total deadweight of 1.86 million tonnes and a total cost of over $5 billion. These include 15 icebreaking LNG carriers and five LNG-fuelled tankers of various sizes, for transporting crude oil and petroleum products.

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