Arctic LNG 2 Module Delivered via NSR Despite Challenging Ice Condition

Photo: Merkushev Aleksandr

Arctic LNG 2 Module Delivered via NSR Despite Challenging Ice Condition

The Arc7 ice-class module carrier AUDAX completed its voyage through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) long after the navigation season closure, to deliver a process module for Arctic LNG 2. The announcement was made by Novatek on 17 February 2022.

The module weighing some 12,000 tons was delivered from the Chinese port of Tianjin to the LNG Construction Center in Belokamenka, Murmansk Oblast, where it will be installed on a gravity-based structure for the Arctic LNG 2 project’s Train 1.

This voyage is unique in terms of a vessel of this size passing the entire Northern Sea Route in February in challenging ice conditions. The current NSR navigation season saw severer ice conditions as compared to previous years, while the summer-autumn navigation period ended in early November 2021, much earlier than before. Due to the considerable size of the vessel, icebreaker assistance at the route’s most challenging sections, namely in the Chukchi, East Siberian and Kara Seas, was required. AUDAX was escorted by two Atomflot’s nuclear-powered icebreakers, Yamal and Vaygach.

The successful completion of the voyage outside the navigation season is seen as yet another proof that the Northern Sea Route is navigable all year round provided that all necessary prerequisites, including the availability of icebreaker support, are met.

Arctic Today is a column by PORA CEO Alexander Stotskiy analyzing major international, national and regional events and trends in the Arctic.
Alexander Stotskiy
18 February 2022
Arctic Today