Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has announced that the ice-breaking LNG carrier Vladimir Rusanov, which is jointly owned by MOL and China COSCO Shipping Corporation Ltd for the Yamal LNG project, made its first call at PetroChina LNG Jiangsu Terminal in China on July 17, 2018. A ceremony celebrating this milestone was held on July 19.
At the end of March 2018, the vessel started transportation services for LNG produced by the Yamal LNG plant at Sabetta port in Russia. For its latest voyage, the vessel departed from Sabetta port on June 25, and had its first opportunity to navigate independently eastwards along the Northern Sea route without ice-breaker support. The vessel passed the Bering Strait on July 6 and safely made its first call at PetroChina LNG Jiangsu Terminal in China on July 17. The net voyage time from Sabetta to Jiangsu, excluding stoppages for adjusting arrival time, was 19 days only—much shorter than time usually taken for a route through Suez Canal, that is, more than a month. This voyage also marked the first direct LNG delivery to China for the Yamal LNG project.
LNG, as a clean energy source, is drawing attention in China due to rising awareness of environmental issues. In 2017, LNG imports by China reached 38.13 million tonnes, an increase of 46 per cent compared to the previous year. This makes China the world’s second-biggest importer of LNG this year, overtaking South Korea. Furthermore, demand from China’s LNG market is projected to increase significantly in the coming years.
MOL continues to work assiduously to contribute to reliable LNG transportation from the Yamal LNG plant. The company also works to maintain the strong, trusting relationship it has built with its Chinese partners through previous projects, and hopes, primarily through transportation, to continue playing a part in China’s expanding LNG demand, said a release.