19 Aug 2022 10:06

Russia to support Zvezda so shipyard can supply tankers for new Novatek LNG project - Putin

MOSCOW. Aug 19 (Interfax) - The Russian government will provide support for the Zvezda shipyard in the Far East so it can supply tankers for Novatek's new liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting on the development of the shipbuilding industry.

"We need to solve the issue of 2025-2026 [...] The fewer the tankers, the more [additionally produced LNG] will go to the West [instead of the Asia-Pacific region]. This is completely wrong and carries additional risks. And therefore we must go and win over the market there [in the Asia-Pacific region]," Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson said at the meeting.

"I understand the difficulties that we know about, that we just talked about," Putin said, commenting on Mikhelson's remark while addressing Andrei Shishkin, the head of the Far East Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Center where Zvezda is being built. Part of the meeting was held behind closed doors.

"It's not empty words that we are doing a lot for the Zvezda project to succeed, including in terms of a package of orders. Everything must be done, the government must help Zvezda so as to fulfil the customer's expectations to the full. Because if Novatek fulfils its plans to build a new facility to produce LNG, the products need to be shipped, what are they supposed to do?" Putin said, referring to the gas company's Arctic LNG 2 project.

"Therefore, I ask that every effort be made for the projects to be realized. Let's think about how to additionally help you," Putin added.