The An-124. Photo: Antonov.com

World’s biggest transport plane lands in Sabetta

The An-124 «Ruslan» checks in at Russia’s new Arctic airport with components for the Yamal LNG project.
March 06, 2017

As Novatek and its partners bustle to meet time schedules in the grand Yamal LNG project, the world’s biggest serial-produced air transporter on 22nd January landed in Sabetta, the new airport northeast in the Yamal Peninsula. On board were 67 tons of equipment for the nearby LNG plant. The delivery came from China, the Yamal-Nenets regional government informs.

The airport is Russia’s newest and northernmost. The 2,704 meter long, 46 meter wide, airfield is built on the tundra wetland along the Gulf of Ob and was officially opened on 4th December 2014 when a Boeing 737 from company Yutair landed on site. In October 2015, it got international certification. 

Never before has such a huge aircraft landed this far north. With maximum take-off weight, the An-124 requires a take-off run distance of 1,520 meter. The An-124 has a wing-span of more than 73 meters. The aircraft can carry up to 120 tons of cargo. 

In 2016 a total of 11 international flights were made to Sabetta. They brought 53 tons of goods worth a total value of €2,67 million. International flights will increase in 2017. Only in January, six foreign aircrafts landed on site with a total of 144 tons of goods, the regional government says. They departed from Belgium, Scotland, South Korea and China.

The Sabetta airport is built in connection with the Yamal LNG plant and is located near the project sea port, an infrastructure object built to handle up 30 million tons of good per year.

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A settlement with about 22,000 people has in few years been built on site.

The Yamal LNG project has a project target production of 16,5 million tons of LNG per year. Production start is due in November 2017. It is operated by Novatek (50,1%) in partnership with Total (20%), CNPC (20%) and the Silk Road Fund (9,9%).

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