Today, one of the largest plants built from the ground up in Russia in the past decade has started operating at full capacity. This is the Yamal LNG project. It was built in four years in an arctic desert. It's not just a gas liquefaction plant but also a huge port, a whole fleet of ice-breakers, built in Russian shipyards, and a new city that grew around the site. The result of the project is that Russia has increased its share on the world LNG market by 2.5 times.
Alexander Rudenko with the report.
The gas flare in Sabetta can be seen from dozens of miles away, especially during the polar nights. The prospective reserves of this deposit are estimated at about 1 trillion cubic meters of gas.
Dmitry Medvedev: "Proceed, please".
"Roger that, initializing the load".
Yamal LNG has reached its designed capacity, extracting 16 million tons per year. The third line was built ahead of schedule.
Dmitry Medvedev: "Our country has successfully cooperated with our European neighbors in the gas sector for 50 years already. Now we are actively entering the Asian markets. Yamal LNG is a good example of an effective, multilateral cooperation in this sphere. The project is very large and expensive. Of course, this plant is very significant".
The plant is jointly built by the Russian "Novotek", the French "Total", and Chinese oil producers. Russian LNG now has half of the local market in China.
Qin Weizhong, CNPC vice president: "Aside from the realization of the Yamal LNG project, our company will actively participate in the Russian investment projects. Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of Total: Russia is one of the main players on the energy market. It's a very important partner project for Total".
However, Yamal gas is a bigger driver for the Russians than for the French or Chinese: it'll develop both the Russian economy and transportation on the Northern Sea Route. The LNG supplies from here, on the Yamal peninsula, first of all, go to the Asia-Pacific market, year-round, via the Arctic Ocean. Yankou Rudong in China is one of the main ports of LNG delivery. The gas is also supplied to the EU countries, via transit around Scandinavia but in lesser volumes. The points of arrival are the French Dunkirk and the Dutch Rotterdam.
The gas is mainly transported by huge tankers. Right now, one of them, called Christophe de Margerie, is being loaded in the port of Sabetta. In just in a few days, the tanker, carrying 160,000 cubic meters of gas, will depart for the city of Honningsvåg in Norway. The Yamal deposit could propel Russia to the top of the world LNG producers.
Alexander Novak, Russian Minister of Energy: "Of course, it mean for us the diversification of the export routes, diversification in energy policy, and creating new workplaces in the Northern Territories and the Arctic regions".
Arctic development is now in the hands of a special state committee, headed by Vice Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev.
Alexander Rudenko, Anton Meshcheryakov, Ivan Zamorin, Ilya Baev, Anna Medvedeva, Vesti.