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Russia Ships First LNG Cargo To China

Russia has made history by delivering its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo ship to China along the Arctic coast.

The intention of sailing via the Northern Sea Route (NSR) from Yamal LNG project was to cut down on travelling time and, subsequently, reduce its transportation expenses, reported Reuters.

Head of Novatek Leonid Mikhelson said in a statement: “Utilising the Northern Sea Route as a viable transportation route contributes to the development of the northern regions and is very important for our country’s economic development.”

By using NSR, shipping times to China will be reduced by up to 15 days, nearly half the time it would take to transport the cargo via the Suez Canal along a westward route. What’s more, Novatek can avoid paying the normal fees incurred by using the Suez Canal course.

Due to its location in the Arctic, the NSR is only open during the summer between June and November. However, severe weather this year has meant it has not been able to be utilised until now.

It is crucial for the $27 billion (£20.6 billion) Yamal LNG plant that NSR is functional, as it has only been able to sail LNG tankers to Europe so far. While the NSR was shut, shipments to Asia needed to be sold in Europe or taken to Asia via the Suez Canal.

To celebrate delivery of the tankers – Vladimir Rusanov and Eduard Toll, which have a capacity of more than 170,000 cubic meters each – to Jiangsu Rudong in China, Novatek held a ceremony earlier this week.

A new LNG initiative could go ahead in Africa if plans for the Mozambique Rovuma Ventureare accepted. The two LNG trains could produce as much as 7.6 million tons of LNG per year, Energy Voice reported.

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