Zvezda Begins Construction of First LNG Carrier Under Arctic LNG 2 Project Financed by VEB.RF
VEB.RF took part in the steel cutting ceremony for the first of the Arctic gas tankers to be built by the Zvezda shipyard, Primorie Territory, Russia, under a contract with Sovcomflot Group for the Arctic LNG 2 project.
The ceremony was attended by Yury Borisov, Russian Deputy Prime Minister; Leonid Mikhelson, Chairman of the Management Board, NOVATEK; Igor Tonkovidov, President and CEO, Sovcomflot; Sergei Tseluiko, Managing Director, Zvezda; and Daniil Algulyan, Deputy Chairman, VEB.RF.
“VEB.RF is financing the construction of 15 LNG carriers under the Arctic LNG 2 project. This is the largest financing project for Russian shipbuilding. I’d like to sincerely thank all colleagues and all partners who have worked with us on the project. As a development institution, we will continue to make every effort to help this project to be successful. We’re entering the most important phase—ship construction—and we sincerely believe in our engineers, technicians and shipyard workers, who are sure to successfully carry out the project and ensure the success of this huge initiative in the Arctic region. This project is important for the country, for the Arctic; this project is important for the Northern Sea Route,” Daniil Algulyan said.
The VEB.RF Group currently provides financing for a total of 21 tankers built by the Zvezda shipyard. Metal cutting has already started for six of them. VEB.RF has a whole range of projects in the pipeline for Zvezda.
The ship construction, lease financing and chartering contracts were signed by Sovcomflot, NOVATEK, Zvezda and VEB.RF in 2019. The gas tanker is to be delivered in the first quarter of 2023.
Steel cutting for the pilot ship marks the beginning of a new generation of Arctic LNG carriers. They are designed based on many years of Sovcomflot’s experience in operating large-capacity vessels in ice-bound conditions. The engineering solutions selected for these gas tankers will enable them to navigate through ice-covered waters at a higher speed and with better manoeuvrability than the previous generation of ships, which will allow year-round navigation in the eastern Arctic for the first time in history, thus accelerating the implementation of national plans to increase cargo traffic via the Northern Sea Route. All these ships will be built to a high ice class (Arc7).
Sovcomflot Group is currently involved in the construction of 15 new-generation tankers at the Zvezda shipyard: the pilot ship will be built to the order of the group itself, while the other 14 gas carriers were ordered by SMART LNG, a joint venture between Sovcomflot and NOVATEK. The construction is supervised by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.
Igor Tonkovidov, President and CEO, Sovcomflot, said: “The launched construction of the pilot gas carrier at the Zvezda shipyard represents an important milestone for domestic shipbuilding, because never before have Russian shipbuilders made such technologically sophisticated products. We are proud that Sovcomflot is working with NOVATEK, VEB.RF and Zvezda to increase the local content of new technologies for commercial shipbuilding in Russia and contribute to the full-scale construction of large-capacity vessels. We hope our close, effective cooperation will continue and we are ready to support the development of domestic commercial shipbuilding under major energy projects. The 15 new LNG carriers will all fly the Russian flag and have all-Russian crews on board.”
VEB.RF Chairman Igor Shuvalov Meets with Japanese Ambassador to Russia Toyohisa Kozuki
VEB.RF’s headquarters hosted a meeting between VEB.RF Chairman Igor Shuvalov and Japanese Ambassador to Russia Toyohisa Kozuki. Igor Shuvalov extended congratulations to Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who took office in September 2020, and expressed the hope that relations between Russia and Japan would develop as dynamically and positively as in the Shinzo Abe era.
In this context, Igor Shuvalov mentioned the significant contribution made by the eight-point cooperation plan proposed by Shinzo Abe at the Sochi summit in 2016 to economic relations between the two countries.
Japanese Ambassador Toyohisa Kozuki reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to promoting bilateral trade and economic and investment cooperation between Russia and Japan and said that Japan was interested in joint projects in the Russian Far East in relation to agriculture, gas processing, transport corridors and the Northern Sea Route.
For information: VEB.RF has a long-standing relationship with Japanese financial institutions. The most notable examples are jointly financed construction projects such as Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal D, Ammoni Plant in Tatarstan and Khabarovsk Airport.
In partnership with JBIC and Japanese companies, the VEB.RF Group was also involved in projects to build the Sayuri year-round greenhouse in Yakutia, Khabarovsk Airport (with a consortium of Japanese investors), a used car recycling plant in the Primorie Territory and a wood pellet plant in the Khabarovsk Territory. There are plans to work with Japanese companies on the Arctic LNG project to develop LNG infrastructure in the Far East.