The Zvezda shipbuilding complex has started cutting steel for the lead vessel of the new series – the ice-class LNG tanker ‘ARC 7’. The ceremony took place in the hull production unit. The first part was cut on a high-tech plasma cutting machine in the presence of representatives of the shipyard, the customer, and the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.
In the Russian Federation, gas carriers are being built for the first time. For many years, they were ordered exclusively abroad. The construction of gas carriers is one of the most technologically complex processes in world shipbuilding. SSK “Zvezda” possesses equipment, unique for Russian shipyards and world-class advanced technologies, which make it possible to implement such projects.
LNG tankers of ice-class ARC 7 are designed to transport liquefied natural gas and are capable of operating in harsh climatic conditions. The length of the vessel is 300 m, the width is 48.8 m, the capacity of cargo tanks is 172.6 thousand m3. These vessels are distinguished by increased environmental safety – they use liquefied natural gas as the main fuel.
The design of the gas carrier allows independently breaking ice more than 2 m thick. The power plant of the gas carrier is 45 MW. The vessel is equipped with three unique rudder propellers, the production of which is localized in Bolshoy Kamen at the joint venture between Rosneft and GE.
In July 2020, SSK Zvezda received an international license and became the only Russian shipyard that can build LNG carriers with a Mark 3 membrane storage system. The shipbuilding complex also signed a license agreement for technical assistance and licensing with the French engineering company Gaztransport & Technigaz. which specializes in the development and licensing of the construction of cryogenic membrane systems for the transportation and storage of liquefied gas.
Gas tankers will be built in the interests of PAO NOVATEK for the Arctic LNG-2 project. Funding for the construction of new ships will be provided by VEB.RF. SSK Zvezda and VEB.RF Group companies have signed contracts for the construction of 15 Arctic LNG carriers intended for transportation of liquefied gas in difficult ice conditions of the Northern Sea Route. The vessels will be operated under long-term time charter agreements between PJSC Sovcomflot (for a pilot vessel) and LLC SMART LNG (a subsidiary of Sovcomflot and NOVATEK Group of companies, for the remaining 14 vessels in the series) with LLC Arctic LNG 2 “(A subsidiary of PAO NOVATEK).
The start of the production of ships of this type at Russian shipyards is a unique event and one of the priority directions of the production program of the Zvezda shipyard.
The Zvezda shipbuilding complex is being created by a consortium headed by Rosneft on behalf of the President of Russia V.V. Putin. To date, the shipyard’s portfolio of orders is more than 50 vessels. Rosneft signed contracts for the construction of 28 vessels, becoming the anchor customer of the SSK Zvezda.
The Zvezda product line will include vessels with a displacement of up to 350 thousand tons, elements of offshore platforms, ice-class vessels, commercial vessels for the transport of goods, special vessels, and other types of marine equipment of any complexity, characteristics, and purposes, including equipment that previously in Russia it was not produced due to the lack of the necessary launching and hydraulic structures.