The five new buildings are 172,000 m3 icebreaking LNG carriers, designed in the Arc7 ice-class. They were ordered at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Engineering by Yamal Trading as part of a 15-vessel new-building program, which has been initiated to serve the company’s LNG project in Russia.
All five ships were to have been owned by the Russian shipping company Sovcomflot but due to financial problems, the financing for the building of the quintet was not completed.
The Greek company Dynagas was interested in the purchase of the new icebreaking LNG carriers and offered a funding for the vessels, which are worth a total of more than $1.5 billion.
The ship’s deliveries are scheduled for 2017 and according to some sources the cost is estimated for approximately $320 million for each vessel.
The rest vessels in the Yamal’s new-building program were awarded to a consortium of Teekay LNG and China LNG Shipping, which will own six of the new buildings, and Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), together with China Shipping Development, which will have three.
After the acquisition of the five new-buildings by Dynagas, the Russian Sovcomflot will be left with one of the Yamal vessels - the lead ship from the Yamal’ s new-building program, scheduled to be delivered in 2016 from DSME.
The special features of the Arc7 ice-class design will allow the new LNG carriers to independently traverse icy seas with ice thickness of up to 2.1 metres. They will have the capacity to transport LNG from the Yamal LNG plant at Sabetta and during the summer season to use the Northern Sea Route to transport LNG to East Asia.
Dynagas has already its own fleet of 10 LNG carriers, which have been built at Hyundai Heavy Industries. The Greek company is still waiting the delivery of the last newbuilding.
The Greek company is seen as a leader in ice-class LNG shipping and has already successfully performed several NSR transits with its current fleet.
According to Dynagas CEO, Mr. Prokopiou, the development of Arctic LNG shipping had been long-awaited by its company. Confirming the Yamal’ s deal he said:
“We have the crew and we have the experience. Dynagas also has the know-how to face “challenges on the equipment side.”