Novatek Builds Giant Shipyard at Port of Murmansk

Images courtesy Kola Shipyard / VK

Published Nov 9, 2017 9:47 PM by The Maritime Executive

Construction is under way for a giant new dockyard near the port of Murmansk, Russia. The new greenfield facility – to be called Kola Shipyard – will be used to build the process equipment for a second LNG plant near Novatek’s Yamal LNG, a liquefaction terminal at the Port of Sabetta. According to Novatek, the new shipyard will also be capable of building ferro-concrete platforms, production topsides for Arctic offshore projects and other large structures.

Yamal LNG is not yet complete, but Novatek is already pushing ahead with plans for the second LNG plant, which will be called “Arctic LNG-2.” Unlike its predecessor, which was assembled from large process modules built overseas and shipped to the site on heavy-lift module carrier ships, its construction will be largely completed in Russia. 

To lay the groundwork for this undertaking, Novatek is investing hundreds of millions in Kola Shipyard. The yard will feature two docks measuring 400 meters long by 16 meters deep, and contractors will use the excavated soil to build four artificial islands. 

Novatek has entered into discussions with other firms on the possibility of operating the yard under a joint partnership. "From the point of view of managing the shipyard, we are considering the possibility of attracting a partner. There are three companies with which we are negotiating . . . Saipem and the suppliers of modules for Yamal LNG. The decision to create a management company and partners for it should be made this year," said Novatek head Leonid Mikhelson in July. 

The Port of Murmansk has played a large role in transporting the equipment and supplies required for the massive Kola Shipyard project. The port authority says that since June, over 20 units of heavy equipment and about three dozen residential modules for Kola Shipyard have been unloaded at its wharves. 

"We did not accidentally choose [Port of Murmansk] as a cargo handling partner for the Kola Shipyard project," said Roman Dubov, the lead coordinator for logistics contractor JSC NEC. "The high qualification of the Murmansk port workers, as well as the availability of convenient access railroads and productive handling equipment at the enterprise allows performing all logistics operations [as scheduled]."