Samsung shipyard chosen as technology partner in Russian project to build ice-breaking ships

05, Sep. 2019

SEOUL, AJU - Samsung Heavy Industries, one of South Korea's three largest shipbuilders, was selected as a technology partner in a Russian project to build ice-breaking ships which will be fueled by liquefied natural gas and transport gas from the permafrost ground in the Yamal peninsula northwest Siberia.

Russia, a major gas producer, aims to export LNG as much as Qatar. Russia's second-largest natural gas producer, Novatek, plans to start producing LNG at Arctic LNG 2 in Yamal in 2022~2023. The project is expected to require a number of ice-breaking LNG tankers.

Samsung Heavy said Wednesday that it has signed a design deal with Russia's state-run shipyard Zvezda for icebreaking LNG carriers during an economic forum in Vladivostok. The South Korean shipyard also agreed to establish a joint venture for the construction of shuttle tankers and technology support.

Samsung Heavy will design a powerful gas-fueled icebreaker that can generate the power of 45 megawatts equivalent to a nuclear-powered icebreaker and carry LNG at minus 52 degrees Celsius while breaking Ice up to 2.1 meters thick.

South Korean shipbuilders have stepped up efforts to secure a competitive edge in LNG-powered vessels. Compared to conventional fuels, LNG is a proven commercial solution to meet ever-tightening emissions requirements. The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) predicts that the LNG fuel-powered ship market will account for 60.3 percent, or $108.5 billion, of the world's market for new shipbuilding orders by 2025.