The first floating LNG storage facility

The Russian Floating LNG Storage Facilities projects are designed to optimize logistics and transportation costs of LNG transshipments at the eastern and western ends of the Arctic sea route. Novatek, the largest natural gas producer in Russia, ordered two floating LNG storage units from South Korean Daewoo Shipping & Marine Engineering in 2020. The purpose is to shorten the transport distance for the specially designed and expensive ice-class tankers, reducing transport cost and increasing output volume.

The storage facility in Murmansk means that the special ice-class tankers do not have to carry cargo all the way to mainland Europe for local consumption and/or for reloading to the Asian route during the period the NSR is closed for transport to Asia due to ice conditions. Ordinary, less expensive, tankers will take the cargo from the storage facility in Murmansk, shortening the circular route of the LNG ice-class tankers to 6 days instead of 20 days on average. Similarly, time savings will apply by shortening the transport to only Kamtchatka in the east rather than sailing to ports in Japan, Korea or China during the NSR opening period.

On July 1, a caravan consisting of Koryak FSU and two support vessels left the port of Okpo in the South Korean province of South Gyeongsang, where the ship had been built at the Okpo Shipyard, part of Daewoo Shipping & Marine Engineering (DSME, now Hanwha Ocean).

On July 14, a floating storage facility for LNG transshipment, Koryak FSU, arrived at Bechevinskaya Bay in Kamchatka. Two weeks earlier, the sister ship Koryak FSU, Saam FSU, was stationed at Ura Bay near the city of Murmansk beyond the Arctic Circle.

Arctic Sea Routes and EEZs

Towage was carried out by the anchor handling tug Finval, which was previously part of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline completion fleet, and Agri support vessel, which initially accompanied Saam FSU in Murmansk.

The Koryak FSU and Saam FSU projects in Kamchatka and Murmansk are being implemented by Arctic Transshipment Company, a subsidiary of Novatek. The company expects to put the Kamchatka marine transshipment complex into operation at the end of 2023.

Each complex envisages a floating storage unit with a capacity of 360,000 cbm of LNG, two ship-to-ship reloading points, and two offshore anchorages for ship-to-ship operations. Each of the ice-class tankers has a capacity of 210 - 266.000 cbm so the capacity of the storage capacity of the storage facility is approximately 1.5 tanker loads.

It will ensure annual volume of transshipment over 20 million tons at each complex.

Specifications of FSU:

  • length - 400 m, width - 60 m;
  • loaded draft - 12.2 m;
  • summer deadweight – 192,237 thousand tons;
  • LNG storage capacity - 360 thousand cbm;
  • gross tonnage – 247,54 thousand tons.


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