Green Aframax for Russian loading points
Russian shipowner SCF Sovcomflot recently commissioned the first of six LNG-fuelled, ice-strengthened Aframax tankers contracted from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), writes David Tinsley.
Built by HHI’s associated company Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, the 113,170dwt Gagarin Prospect encapsulates a design and construction that provides the capability for year-round liftings of crude oil from the eastern Baltic and Russian Arctic.
As well as ensuring compliance with sulphur and IMO Tier III NOx emission limits when running in gas mode, and meeting the Tier III standard through the use of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology when burning heavy fuel oil, the ship’s ‘green’ credentials promise cost savings. The LNG dual-fuel powering and exhaust treatment arrangements will allow the tanker to qualify for discounts on port fees in certain European harbours.
The ship’s Ice-1B class notation meets the requisite standard for seasonal voyaging on Russia’s Arctic seaway, the Northern Sea Route (NSR), for exports from Russian outlets in the Gulf of Finland, and for trade in other areas subject to harsh winter conditions. Her outfit satisfies Polar Code stipulations.
The two-stroke, 7X62DF main engine was manufactured under licence from Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) by Hyundai Heavy Industries’ Engine & Machinery Division (HHI-EMD), and is rated to deliver 13,800kW at 86rpm.
WinGD has also supplied the low-pressure SCR system, and the proprietary Engine Diagnostic System. The latter imbues increased availability via monitoring, lower fuel costs via engine performance optimisation and extension of predicted times between overhauls (TBOs) of components. The auxiliary outfit is based on three gensets driven by eight-cylinder, Wartsila 200mm-bore engines.
The new Aframax series is expected to initially bunker LNG in Rotterdam and elsewhere in northwest Europe, while Sovcomflot’s scope for sourcing the fuel looks set to be markedly increased in the near future by the plans of Russian companies to establish facilities in the eastern Baltic.
Technical husbandry of the ship is conducted from the Dubai headquarters of SCF Management Services, which also oversees branch offices in Limassol, Novorossiysk, St Petersburg, and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
Second-of-class Lomonosov Prospect was handed over by the Samho yard on October 2, while deliveries of the subsequent quartet, Mendeleev Prospect, Korolev Prospect, Vernadsky Prospect, and Samuel Prospect are programmed over the period November 2018 to April 2019. Gagarin Prospect and the last in the series, Samuel Prospect, have attracted long-term charters from Shell.
Sovcomflot has two further, similarly LNG dual-fuel Aframax tankers on order at Russia’s Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex, under development in the Russian Far East at Bolshoi Kamen.
The ships’ design and specification was set by the owner, in conjunction with with Far Eastern Shipbuilding & Shiprepair Centre, as the coordinator of the Zvezda project, and HHI, as the main contractor for the Gagarin Prospect series. Rosneft is the intended charterer. The deal signifies the Russian shipbuilding industry’s entry into the market for LNG-powered tonnage.