New production platform arrives in Utrenneye. It is part of Russia’s big push into Arctic LNG

The first gravity-based structure arrives in Gydan. (Belokamenka51 at VK/Via The Independent Barents Observer)

Accompanied by 12 tugs and support ships, the 640,000 ton heavy production unit this week docked in the Utrenneye port in far northern Gydan peninsula.

The huge gravity-based structure thatset out from Belokamenka on the 21st of Julyhas arrived to its destination on the eastern bank of the Ob Bay.

Photosfrom site show how the more than 110 meter high installation is towed through the shallow waters towards the new seaport built on pristine tundra lands.

According to the project operator, the platform spent 21 days on the voyage from the Kola Bay, a distance of more than 2000 km. It is reportedly the first time ever that such a large installation has been towed at sea.

The Utrenneye port has been under development since 2019 and is the logistics hub for Novatek’s grand project Arctic LNG 2. On site are a number of new industrial objects, pipelines and public infrastructure.

That includes housing blocks for several thousand people,an airport, hotel and other facilities.

The arrival of the 640,000 ton heavy installation to Gydan is a landmark for the project that will be Russia’s biggest of the kind. Up to 20 million tons of LNG will ultimately be produced on site.

According to Sergei Komlev, head of construction at Utrenneye, the coastal infrastructure on site is almost 100 percent ready. The gravity-based structure is now to be connected to land-based facilities, and the first liquified natural gas will be produced already this year, he says to Rossiya24.

The LNG is based on the resources of the nearby Salmanovskoye field that holds an estimated 1,4 trillion cubic meters of gas.

Despite the mounting international sanctions imposed on Russia following its full-scale attack on Ukraine, Novatek has managed to proceed with the Arctic LNG 2.

The sanctions adopted by the EU and USA in 2022 threatened todeal a fatal blow to Novatek’s LNG projects. But the company has managed to circumvent the restrictions and find alternative suppliers of the goods.

Novatek appears confident that it will be able to complete also its planned second and third gravity-based structures, and shortly after the first unit set off towards Gydan the companysharedinformation about successful progress at the second unit.

The Arctic LNG 2 is one of several major industrial project now unfolding in the area of the Gulf of Ob. The unprecedented industrial development in and around the shallow bay nowthreatens the unique Arctic ecosystem. The extensive development of the area could have fatal consequences for marine life, and environmentalists now sound the alarm. They especially fear that ongoing dredging ultimately could eliminate rare local fish stocks.

Related stories from around the North: 

CanadaTarquti Energy, Hydro-Quebec deal important step towards green energy for Nunavik, Inuit leaders say, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: The world could transition entirely to cheap, safe renewable energy before 2050: Finnish study, Yle News

Norway: Norway outlines major wind power development in Arctic waters, The Independent Barents Observer

IcelandIceland’s wind power working group calls for input from public, municipalities, Eye on the Arctic

Russia: Floating LNG platform : big advance for Russia’s expansive Arctic industry, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Wind power to be expanded to all of Sweden, Radio Sweden

United StatesBLM proposes allowing ConocoPhillips to drill most of its Arctic Willow project, Alaska Public Media

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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