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Zvezda Shipyard Launches Steel Cutting for Liquified Gas Tankers of Ice-Class Arc7 New Ship Series

20 November 2020

The Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex has commenced steel cutting for a liquefied gas tanker of ice-class Arc7, the flagship in the new series. The ceremony was held in the hull production facility. The first detail was cut using the new advanced plasma gas unit in the presence of representatives of the shipyard, the customer and Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.

For the first time in history, the construction of liquefied gas tankers is being done in the Russian Federation. For many years they were ordered abroad only. The construction of gas carrier vessels is one of the most technologically complex processes in the global shipbuilding industry. The Zvezda Shipyard Complex implements these projects with the equipment unique to Russian shipyards and with advanced world-class technologies.

Liquefied gas tankers of ice-class Arc7 are designed to transport liquefied natural gas and can perform in severe climate conditions. The length of the vessel is 300 m, width 48.8 m, capacity of cargo tanks 172,600 m3. These vessels feature increased environmental safety; they use liquefied natural gas as their primary fuel.

The gas carrier’s design allows it to individually pull through the ice of up to 2 metres thick. The capacity of the gas carrier’s power station is 45 MW. The ship is equipped with three unique steerable thrusters whose production is localised in Bolshoy Kamen at the joint venture of Rosneft and GE.

In July 2020, Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex was awarded an international license and became the first Russian shipyard that can build LNG carriers with the Mark 3 membrane storage system. Furthermore, the shipbuilding complex has signed a technical assistance and licencing agreement with the French engineering company Gaztransport & Technigaz that specialises in the development and licencing of the construction of cryogenic membrane systems for liquefied gas transportation and storage.

The gas carriers will be built in interests of PJSC Novatek for the Arctic LNG 2 project. VEB.RF will provide funding for the construction of new ships. The Zvezda Shipyard and the companies of the VEB.RF Group signed contracts for the construction of 15 Arc7 ice-class gas carrier vessels for liquefied gas transportation in complicated ice conditions of the Northern Sea Route. The tankers will be used for long-term time charter contracts between Sovcomflot Group (for the pilot gas carrier), SMART LNG LLC (a subsidiary of Sovcomflot Group and Novatek, for the other 14 ships in the series) and Arctic LNG 2 LLC (a subsidiary of Novatek).

Start of production of this type of vessels, a unique event for Russian shipyards, is one of the priority areas of the production programme of the Zvezda Shipyard.

The Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex is constructed by the Rosneft-led Consortium upon the instruction of President of Russia Vladimir Putin. At the moment, the shipyard’s order portfolio amounts to over 50 vessels. Rosneft Oil Company placed an order for 26 ships at Zvezda and thus became its anchor customer.

Zvezda’s product line will include vessels of up to 350,000 tonnes displacement, components of marine platforms, ice-class vessels, commercial vessels for cargo transportation, specialty vessels, and other types of marine equipment of any complexity, characteristics and purposes, including the equipment that had not previously produced in Russia due to the lack of required launching and hydraulic structures.

Note for Editors:

The construction of Zvezda is carried out in two stages. The following facilities of the first extended stage have been put into operation: the hull production block, painting cabinets, the open heavy outfitting slipway equipped with a park of unique cranes and a state-of-the-art ship transportation system, and the floating transfer dock.

The workshops built enabled the ship construction before the completion of the second stage. Commissioning of the second stage will expand the shipyard’s capacity and allow Zvezda to build vessels and marine equipment without any limitations. The second stage comprises the following: a dry dock and additional full-cycle production shops for construction of large-capacity vessels and marine equipment.

The largest dry dock in Russia has been constructed four years ahead of schedule, and now works of equipment commissioning are being performed there. The shipyard overall completion is scheduled for 2024.

Zvezda’s product line includes tankers, gas carriers, drilling platforms, and ice class ships, including the world’s most powerful nuclear icebreakers, the Leaders. The Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex will rival foreign shipyards and provide Russia with a civilian fleet to develop offshore fields and smoothly navigate the Northern Sea Route--the shortest route between Europe and Asia.

Steerable thruster, a key element of a ship’s electric propulsion system that is responsible for its speed and manoeuvring performance, will be the first Russian product of that class and will provide Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex with the world-class equipment and technologies.

In order to design and localise the manufacture of steerable thrusters for ice-class vessels, Rosneft and GE established two joint ventures, the Sapphire Applied Engineering and Training Centre (St. Petersburg) and the Sapphire Steerable Thrusters Plant (Bolshoy Kamen).

The key task of the JV is to localise production of steerable thrusters and ship electric propulsion systems at the Zvezda shipyard site in Primorsky Krai. The design capacity of the plant allows satisfying the demand for this equipment for vessels of various classes including high ice-class gas carriers. Sapphire Steerable Thrusters Plant LLC is a resident of the Bolshoy Kamen Priority Social and Economic Development Area.

The plant will manufacture high ice-class steerable thrusters with the capacity from 7.5 MW to 20 MW.

Information Division
November 20, 2020

Keywords: Environmental News 2020