Russia has received its first LNG carriers after they were built and delivered from Japan, to the country’s largest shipping company Sovkomflot.

The vessels, which are almost 300 metres long and 50 metres wide and have a crew of only 24 people, are going to carry liquefied natural gas from the first specialised sea port in Russia that is currently under construction in the Skhalin region.

The main supplier will be the Sakhalin-2 project, in which Russia’s gas giant Gazprom has a controlling stake, while Sovcomflot will be operating the new ships with technical assistance of the company’s Japanese partner.

“The development of liquefied natural gas shipping is one of the main trends on the energy market. And it is very important for us,” notes Stanislav Tsygankov, director of Gazprom’s Foreign Relation s Department.

Each vessel, titled the Grant Elena and the Grant Aniva, can carry the liquefied equivalent of 90 million cubic metres of gas. Before this is pumped onto the ship it must be cooled down to -163ºC and maintained at this temperature when onboard.