It appears to have been confirmed that 299-metre long LNG tanker Nikolay Yevgenov (IMO 9750725) suffered a damaged azipod when it was close to completing a historical mid-winter voyage on the Russian Arctic seaway, the Northern Sea Route (IMN January 20th 2021).
According to Kommersant the propulsion unit was likely to have broken down on January 16th when the vessel was approaching the Bering Strait, which separates Russia from Alaska. After having sailed with a speed of about 9 knots all the way from Sabetta, whence it had departed on January 6th, the tanker suddenly slowed to 3 knots.
The Nikolay Yevgenov had sailed through the Northern Sea Route in the wake of 128,806 gt LNG tanker Christophe de Margerie (IMO 9737187).
By January 19th the Nikolay Yevgenev was making its way slowly south through the Bering Sea. It had been scheduled to arrive in the Chinese port of Jingtang on January 28th, but with only two of three azipods in operation, that schedule was unlikely to be met.
Kommersant gave no further details about the circumstances of the failure and the extent of the damage. If the azipod has to be replaced that could see the ship placed in dock for a month. That in turn would mean that Novatek would have significantly less capacity to export its Yamal LNG to the markets.
2019-built, Bahamas-flagged, 128,969 gt Nikolay Yevgenov is owned by TC LNG Explorer III LLC care of manager Teekay Shipping (Glasgow) Ltd of Glasgow, UK. ISM manager is Teekay Shipping Ltd of Hamilton, Bermuda. It is entered with Standard Club (International Division) on behalf of TC LNG Explorer III LLC.