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Novatek May Need $5.6 Billion of LNG Tankers for Yamal Project

Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- OAO Novatek, Russia’s largest non-state gas producer, may require $5.6 billion worth of liquefied natural gas tankers to transport fuel from its Yamal LNG project in Russia’s Arctic, according to ship owner OAO Sovcomflot.

Novatek may send the LNG by sea to customers in Japan, China and Korea, Dmitry Rusanov, deputy director of LNG fleets at Sovcomflot, said today in Moscow.

Russia, currently with one LNG plant on its far eastern Sakhalin Island, plans to open a facility on the Yamal Peninsula in early 2017 to profit from growing Asian demand for the fuel. Novatek and Total SA, who are still looking for another investor in the $20 billion project, are seeking to contract shipments in the first half of 2013, Novatek said in October.

The plant is designed to have three units, each able to produce about 5.5 million metric tons a year. That would require 16 tankers, each capable of holding 170,000 tons and costing $350 million, Interfax reported today, citing Rusanov.

Mikhail Lozovoy, a spokesman for Tarko Sale, Siberia-based Novatek, wasn’t immediately available to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Bierman in Moscow at sbierman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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