Japanese operator Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has signed a Letter of Intent with Russian “State Transport Leasing Company” (GTLK) a state owned leasing company under the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, for the potential acquisition of total 49% shares of the FSU owner companies, which are currently 100% owned by GTLK, in relation to the LNG transhipment projects in Kamchatka and Murmansk.
The FSU owner companies have earlier entered into bareboat charter agreements with Arctic Transhipment LLC (joint venture of JSC NOVATEK and TotalEnergies. that will provide transhipment services to NOVATEK’s LNG-projects by reloading LNG cargoes from ice-class LNG carriers to conventional LNG carriers.
Two FSUs with a world largest storage capacity of about 360,000m3 will be placed at each of Bechevinskaya Bay in the Kamchatka Territory and Ura Bay at Murmansk. The two FSUs are currently being constructed at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. Once the construction is completed, the FSUs will be towed to Kamchatka and Murmansk to be placed at each of their sites. MOL has been supporting the construction from the technical and engineering perspective, in particular the basic design, plan approval and site supervision works.
By transporting LNG via Northern Sea Route and by transhipping at Kamchatka and Murmansk, it is expected to reduce voyage costs and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, securing LNG at a location close to a point of consumption is believed to increase security and reliability of energy supply. Furthermore, ensuring steady access to energy resources in the Russian Arctic region should contribute to stable energy supply to Japan. MOL will contribute to stable LNG transportation by providing a wide variety of services, from icebreaking LNG carriers which transport LNG from loading ports in Russian Arctic to the LNG transhipment terminals, and to conventional LNG carriers which deliver LNG from the transhipment terminals to discharging ports.