A naming ceremony took place for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier at STX O&S shipyard in the city of Jinhae (South Korea). The vessel was named Velikiy Novgorod. It will be the fifth in Gazprom's tanker fleet.

Velikiy Novgorod is a gas carrier with membrane cargo tanks and a cargo capacity of 170.2 thousand cubic meters. It is equipped with a diesel-electric drive, which can be fueled by LNG, fuel oil or gasoil. The vessel is certified as Ice2 class vessel and can ship cargoes in low-temperature conditions, including via the Northern Sea Route during the navigation period in the open water.

The ship is classified according to the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping and Lloyd’s Register. The crew will be made up of Russian sailors.

Gazprom Marketing & Trading (GM&T) will charter Velikiy Novgorod from Russian shipping company Sovcomflot. It will be the first vessel in a series of high-tech ice-class LNG carriers that have been designed on Gazprom’s order. The vessel will be delivered to GM&T in late January of 2014.

"At present, Sovcomflot is constructing a similar gas carrier – Pskov – which is due to be delivered to Gazprom this September.

Gazprom is pursuing a stagewise strategy in the LNG production and supply sector. As part of these efforts, we are creating our own tanker fleet capable of shipping LNG to any terminal of the world, as well as along the Northern Sea Route.

The Velikiy Novgorod and Pskov tankers allow Gazprom to increase the scope of its trading operations and enhance its positions in the global LNG market," said Alexander Medvedev.