The technology, dubbed ‘Arctic Cascade’, uses a two-stage process to liquefy gas using the ambient low temperatures in the Arctic. The process is designed to reduce energy consumption and increase cost-effectiveness.
According to the first deputy chairman of Novatek’s management board Alexander M. Fridman: “‘Arctic Cascade’ is NOVATEK’s first patented liquefaction technology using equipment produced by Russian manufacturers. Our goal is to localise the fabrication and construction of LNG trains and modules to decrease the overall cost of liquefaction and develop a technological base within Russia.”
As one of the largest natural gas producers in Russia, Novatek focuses on exploration, production, processing and transportation of the commodity. In 2016, the company experienced 37% growth in hydrocarbon production from the previous year and earned over ₽475 billion (€6.7 billion) in revenue.
It is also a partner in the €23 billion Yamal LNG plant in Arctic Siberia, where temperatures can reach -50 degrees Celsius. Yamal LNG has an annual production capacity of 16.5 million tonnes and draws on the South Tambey Field, a gas reservoir with proven and probable reserves (by PRMS standards) estimated at 926 billion cubic meters.
The first shipment of LNG from the facility was loaded onto a specifically designed icebreaker 8 December 2017. The location of the facility and the use of icebreakers allows shipments to reach Asia fifteen days faster than conventional courses through the Suez Canal. This route is seasonal, however, and impassable for over half the year.