On Thursday 25 January, Dunkerque LNG received its first ice-breaking LNG tanker, the Boris Vilkitsky. Chartered by Total, the tanker transports Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from the Yamal LNG liquefaction terminal in Russia.
Having departed 13 days earlier from the Sabetta plant on the Yamal peninsula, the LNG tanker arrived at the Dunkerque LNG terminal on 25 January at 10 am, where it unloaded 165,000 m3 of LNG. The process for unloading the ice-breaker, the first such vessel ever received by the site, ultimately went smoothly.
This is the first shipment from Yamal LNG (20% of which is owned by the Total Group) and the fourth tanker that Total has sent to the Dunkerque LNG terminal since it first entered commercial service.
Designed as part of the Yamal LNG project begun in December 2017, the Boris Vilkitsky was christened and put to sea in autumn 2017. The vessel is part of an innovative fleet of 15 tankers that transport Liquefied Natural Gas from the liquefaction terminal in Siberia. In summer, the tankers will pass through the Bering Strait, taking the northern route toward Asia. When the northern route is inaccessible, the ice-breakers will head to Northern Europe to offload their cargo, which may then be directly transshipped or reloaded onto "conventional" tankers a little while later.
The ice-breakers are ARC-71 class vessels that measure 300 metres in length and have a capacity of 170,000 m3. The tankers stand out thanks to their technology, which includes an astern propulsion system that makes it easier to manoeuvre in the ice as it is crushed by the propellers. In addition, the hull and bridge equipment are designed to withstand temperatures as low as -52 degrees Celsius