Icebreaking deal for Yamal LNG

Atomflot will over the next 40 years shuttle to the Sabetta port in Yamal to support LNG tankers.

Rosatomflot, Russia’s state nuclear icebreaker company, is preparing for the signing of a major deal with the operators of the Yamal LNG project.


The deal, which is expected to be signed early 2014, will give Rosatom’s icebreakers the responsibility to clear the ice in the Ob Bay and along the Northern Sea Route for the next 40 years.

“The Yamal LNG will be an anchor client for Atomflot”,Vyacheslav Ruksha, director of the icebreaker company, said in a conference this week, reports.

Atomflot intends to use its new icebreaker capacities in the project. The construction of a new generation of icebreakers this fall started at the Baltic Yard in Sankt Petersburg. As previously reported, the LK60 icebreaker will be the biggest vessels of its kind in the world. It will be 173 meters long and 34 meters wide – 14 meters longer and 4 meters wider than the current largest icebreaker, the “50 let Pobedy”. 

The first vessel of the new model is to be ready in due time before 2018, the planned launch time for the Yamal LNG project, Ruksha underlines.

Atomflot will also this winter conduct major operations in the Ob Bay.  According to the company director, nuclear icebreakers will accompany vessels bound for the Sabetta port up to five times every month all through the winter season. When completed, presumably in 2016, the Sabetta port will be able to handle large-scales vessels, among them the Yamal LNG tankers.

The Yamal LNG project is operated by Novatek in cooperation with French Total and Chinese CNPC. When in operation, the project will deliver up to 16,5 million tons of LNG per year, a significant share of which will be shipped out along the Northern Sea Route.