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Posted on November 23, 2020 at 10:05 PM by

The maritime executive

Samsung Heavy Industries got its biggest order ever, and it’s a mystery.

The firm announced Monday that it had registered an order of 2.5 billion dollars of “blocks and equipment” for an anonymous European buyer. It is the largest contract he has signed since its inception in the 1970s, and it accounts for almost 40% of total annual sales last year.

The nature of the product was not disclosed, but most observers believe it is associated with a Russian government-backed order for 15 icebreaker LNG carriers at the recently rebuilt Zvezda shipyard outside of Vladivostok. The ships will be privately owned, but the Kremlin has encouraged the project’s shipowner and charter partners to order from a Russian shipyard.

As Zvezda has never built an LNG carrier before, it has contracted with Samsung for the design and technical support of the first five ships in the series. The first steel was cut at the Zvezda construction site last Friday, and delivery is scheduled for 2023-2026.

The charterer, the Russian LNG producer Novatek, also demand for the Kremlin’s authorization to order ten more hulls in the series from a non-Russian shipbuilder. If approved, this order is expected to be worth around $ 3 billion, and it will likely go to Samsung.

Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) won in 2014 its operations on the Gulf of Ob in the Russian Arctic.

Samsung has already built icebreaker cargo ships for Russian buyers – including a series of three double-acting icebreaker tankers for Sovcomflot delivered in 2005. The design of the Samsung icebreaker LNG carrier is new and aimed at improving performance. in ice compared to the previous generation. .

“These ships will significantly contribute to the development of freight traffic along the Northern Sea Route, which is strategically important for Russia,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said in a statement.