YEKATERINBURG, March 2. /TASS/. Russia’s northernmost airport Sabetta, which is located on the Kara Sea in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, for the first time in its history served the biggest heavy transport aircraft with cargo from China, press service of the region’s customs service told TASS on Thursday.
"We witness the most outstanding event in history of the Sabetta International Airport: Antonov An-124 Ruslan (NATO reporting name Condor), the biggest heavy transport plane has arrived from China. It has brought components for construction of the Yamal-LNG giant plant, the press service said. "The cargo’s weight is 67.67 tons."
Since beginning of this year (2017), Yamal’s customs have already cleared six international flights from Belgium, China, Scotland and South Korea.
"The total weight of the brought in cargo made 144 tons, we have filed 16 goods declarations," the customs said.
During the past year (2016), the customs service cleared eleven international flights (six arrivals and five departures) with cargo for construction of the LNG plant. The trade turnover made 2.6 million dollars, the cargo turnover - 53.56 tons.
"The growth in international flights is explained by the fact the first stage of the LNG complex is due to go operational in 2017," the customs said. "From March 1, 2016, following orders by Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, the customs control is organized at a special border control facility at the Sabetta international airport."
"The Sabetta International Airport complies fully with all requirements for airports of international class," the press service added. "The airport may serve planes of all classes."
The Sabetta airport is the northernmost "air gates" of Russia and one of the biggest northern airports in the world. The airport has the strategic status for implementation of the LNG plant project in Yamal.
The Yamal LNG plant is due to go operational in 2017. The project’s cost is $27 billion. Practically total amount of future liquefied gas - 96% - is contracted already. Yamal LNG’s shareholders are Novatak (50.1%), Total (20%), CNPC (20%) and the Silk Road Fund (9.9%).