Sovcomflot completes first Yamal LNG STS



Pskov loaded 170,000 cbm brought by Arctic LNG carrier from Sabetta.

Russia's Sovcomflot (SCF Group) has carried out the first ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of LNG from Yamal.

On 24 November, its 170,200-cbm Pskov (built 2014) loaded 170,000 cbm of gas brought to the transhipment point from the port of Sabetta by a chartered Yamal LNG vessel, the 172,600-cbm newbuilding Vladimir Rusanov.

The operation took place at anchorage off the port of Honningsvag, Norway, SCF said.

The shipowner said the STS signalled "a new phase for the development of the logistics supporting Yamal LNG, the international LNG production and delivery project successfully implemented in Russia."

Two conventional SCF LNGCs will be used for STS operations.

TradeWinds has reported that four locations at two nearby fjords have also been approved for the operations, which are being overseen by Norwegian company Tschudi.

Novatek, the project’s lead shareholder, is trying to optimise the use of its specialised ice-breaking LNG carrier fleet by minimising the distance the ships have to sail from Sabetta before they offload their cargoes onto conventional vessels.

The aim is to allow the Arc7s to spend the bulk of their time in the harsher, icy waters they were designed for.

Transhipping cargoes off Norway will cut the Arc7s' round-trip voyage times from 20 days when shipping a cargo to northern Europe to nearer 12 days. Around three days are required for the STS operation.

Earlier in August 2018, Pskov successfully delivered the first LNG cargo produced at the second Yamal LNG train from Sabetta.