"I note that this project without exaggeration is a significant one not only for our country, and, perhaps, not only for Europe… It helps in exploring the world, creates demand for innovative technologies in hydrocarbon extraction and transportation and creates jobs in our country and abroad. Yamal LNG plays an important role in developing the Northern Sea Route and exploring the Arctic," Putin said, adding that in general, it is a great contribution to the development of the global energy industry.
The tanker, named after the late head of the French energy company Total, which owns 20 percent of shares in Yamal LNG project, is the first of 15 such vessels engineered for this particular project. It may withstand temperatures of up to 61 degrees Fahrenheit below zero and navigate ice layers of up to 6.8 feet thick. The tanker is capable of carrying over 172,000 cubic meters of LNG.
"From now on, this modern ship will have the name of the French entrepreneur and the great friend of our country, Christophe de Margerie. He had a special strategic vision and did a lot for strengthening friendly and partnership ties with Russia and promoted the implementation of a number of major joint energy projects," Putin said.
The former head of Total died in Moscow's Vnukovo airport in the crash of a Dassault Falcon 50 aircraft.
The tanker underwent ice tests in January-March 2017 in the Kara Sea and the Laptev Sea.
The 21st annual SPIEF is a major global platform for business representatives where crucial economic issues are discussed. SPIEF is held between Thursday and Saturday. Sputnik is an official media partner of the forum.