Novatek has begun full-scale production at its Cryogas-Vysotsk liquefaction plant, in Russia’s Leningrad Region. The company announced the move on April 24, saying Russian President Vladimir Putin had formally opened the plant during a ceremony at the port of Vysotsk.
The Baltic Sea plant has capacity of 660,000 tpy. Novatek has a 51% stake in the facility while the remainder is held by Gazprombank. It also has a 42,000 cubic metre storage tank and offloading berth, capable of handling LNG carriers (LNGCs) with capacity of up to 30,000 cubic metres.
“Cryogas-Vysotsk is our first medium-scale LNG project,” said Novatek’s chairman, Leonid Mikhelson, “Our marketing strategy provides for loading of bunkering vessels, small wholesale LNG sales, and LNG sales as motor fuel to the Baltics, Scandinavia and Northwestern Europe markets.”
The official went on to note the environmental benefits of gas as a transport fuel, saying it would reduce emissions and was in line with the IMO 2020 targets. “We see potential to expand our commercial presence in this developing LNG market segment”.
Novatek bought into this Cryogas-Vysotsk plant in July 2017 for a reported 1.6 billion rubles (US$24.9 million). Mikhelson, talking to Putin at the ceremony, said that while the initial plan was for just one production unit at the Baltic Sea plant, with two 330,000 tpy trains, this may increase at a later date.
A further 1.1 million tpy of capacity could be added by the end of 2020, he said. “Bunkering services are gaining momentum in the Baltic, so I think that there will be demand for these services,” he said at the time.
In October 2018, Novatek signed a deal with Fluxys on the construction of a mid-scale transhipment terminal in the Port of Rostock, in Germany. The 300,000 tpy facility would receive cargoes from Cryogas-Vysotsk and then transfer the LNG onto trucks, for local distribution, and onto vessels. Novatek has a 49% stake in the Rostock LNG plan, while Fluxys has 51%.