Sovcomflot CEO shared company’s successful experience in introduction of LNG as primary fuel for large-capacity tankers
When speaking at the 3rd “LNG Fleet and LNG Bunkering in Russia” conference organized by PortNews Media Group with the assistance of RF Ministry of Industry and Trade and Russian Chamber of Shipping, Sovcomflot CEO Igor Tonkovidov shared the company’s successful experience in introduction of LNG as a primary fuel for large-capacity tankers, Sovcomflot says in a press release.
Igor Tonkovidov said that the SCF fleet currently numbers six tankers powered by gas. “During the summer navigation season of 2019, our vessels successfully completed commercial voyages along the NSR lanes running on LNG fuel throughout the entire route. While in passage, the tests were performed to check the operation of systems and mechanisms in low temperature conditions and a new deep-water route was tried in the northern part of the East Siberian Sea. The company has demonstrated its commitment to the use of a cleaner-burning fuel in the Arctic”, said Igor Tonkovidov.
“LNG as a marine fuel in sulphur emission control areas of the North and Baltic Seas is more economically efficient compared to diesel fuel. Operation of large-capacity tankers fueled by gas for more than a year shows that using LNG ensures a 30-pct reduction of CO2 emissions compared with similar vessels powered by traditional heavy fuel. Russia has extensive reserves of natural gas and that is our sound competitive advantage”, emphasized Sovcomflot CEO.
According to Sovcomflot CEO, the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation and the Federal Marine and River Transport Agency (Rosmorrechflot) have undertaken a number of successive steps to encourage using LNG as a more environmentally friendly fuel. In particular, the ports of the Baltic Basin have reduced port dues for vessels running in gas fuel. Gazpromneft Marine Bunker is currently implementing a project on construction of Russia’s first LNG bunkering tanker intended for the Baltic Sea. In June 2019, Sovcomflot and Gazpromneft Marine Bunker signed an agreement on cooperation in implementation of projects on bunkering of ships with gas fuel.
Other Sovcomflot representatives, Roman Porkromkin, Deputy Head, Unit of Technical Policy and Shipbuilding, and Mikhail Kovalskii, Director, Training Center "Sovcomflot", also spoke at the conference.
In 2018, Sovcomflot pioneered the adoption of LNG as a primary fuel for large-capacity oil tankers. The data accumulated from operating these tankers shows that using LNG as a primary fuel achieves a 30 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions compared with similar vessels powered by traditional heavy fuel.
Currently, Sovcomflot has six LNG-fuelled oil tankers in operation, all delivered in 2018-2019. The lead ship of the series is Gagarin Prospect. Each 113,000-dwt tanker is assigned an ice class of 1A/1B, with a length of 250 metres and a breadth of 44 metres.
Sovcomflot’s ‘Green Funnel’ initiative to introduce LNG as a primary fuel for large-capacity oil tankers has been commended by industry experts. In 2018, SCF Group won an Environmental Award – Individual Company category at the Lloyd's List Global Awards. In 2019, Gagarin Prospect, the lead ship in the ‘Green Funnel’ vessel series, won the international Marine Propulsion Award for Ship of the Year 2018 and the Nor-Shipping Next Generation Ship Award
Sovcomflot (SCF Group) is one of the world's leading energy shipping companies, specialising in the transportation of crude oil, petroleum products, and liquefied gas, as well as the servicing of offshore oil and gas exploration and production. The company’s fleet includes 147 vessels with a total deadweight of over 12.8 million tonnes. More than 80 vessels have an ice class.
Sovcomflot is involved in servicing large oil and gas projects in Russia and around the world: Sakhalin-1; Sakhalin-2; Varandey; Prirazlomnoye; Novy Port; Yamal LNG, and Tangguh (Indonesia). The company is headquartered in Saint Petersburg, with offices in Moscow, Novorossiysk, Murmansk, Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, London, Limassol, and Dubai.