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            december 12, 2019

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Russians to build 17 icebreaking LNG tankers for Northern Sea Route


Novatek and Sovcomflot have announced plans to develop a fleet of 17 icebreaking LNG tankers, reports Norway's Independent Barents Observer.
The two companies signed the deal that establishes the new joint venture during this week's Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
The vessels will all have top Arc7 ice standards and be built at the new Zvezda yard. They are to be delivered from 2023 to 2026.
It will be a completely new fleet of Arctic LNG tankers, built in Russia and sailing under the Russian flag, Sovcomflot says.
The vessels will serve Arctic LNG 2, the major natural gas project currently under development by Novatek and its partners.
The new company will lead the technical development of the fleet, serve as its purchaser and keep control of the construction process. It will be the formal ship owner, operator and provide financing, representatives of Sovcomflot say.
According to company leader Sergey Frank, a joint venture is the best possible way forward considering the complexity of the project.
WHITE HOUSE economic adviser Larry Kudlow has said the United States wants "near term" results from US-China trade talks in September and October but cautioned that the trade conflict could take years to resolve, reported Reuters.
Mr Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said that although the United States and China have been negotiating on trade and intellectual property issues for 18 months, that it was a short period of time in terms of what was at stake and negotiations could go on much longer.
"A deal of this size and scope and central global importance, I don't think 18 months is a very long time," he said."The stakes are so high, we have to get it right, and if that takes a decade, so be it."
But in confirming talks between high-level US and Chinese officials in early October, Mr Kudlow declined to predict outcomes or a specific timeline for reaching any agreements.

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