PAO Novatek has begun production at its Yamal LNG plant, bringing its 5.5 million-tonne/year first train online. The first cargo is scheduled to load Dec. 8 at Sabetta port onboard the first Arc7 ice-class LNG tanker, Christopher de Margerie, operated by Russian state-owned shipping company Sovcomflot.
Novatek plans two more trains, bringing full capacity to 16.5 million tpy. Train 2 is expected to start in third-quarter 2018 and Train 3 in first-quarter 2019. Four double-containment 160,000-cu m storage tanks are in place.
The project draws its natural gas from South Tambey field, with estimated reserves of 926 billion cu m.
Arc7 LNG carriers carry 170,000 cu m and can operate year-round without icebreaker assistance along westbound navigation routes and during the summer season eastbound via the Northern Sea route. Christopher de Margerie is the first of 15 planned Arc7-class vessels.
Yamal LNG is a joint venture between Novatek 50.1%, Total SA 20%, China National Petroleum Corp. 20%, and Silk Road Fund 9.9%.