SCF Group's Sovcomflot sees bright future for LNG-fuelled vessels in the tanker industry. "LNG is a promising fuel for large-capacity vessels, which will significantly increase their environmental compatibility and efficiency," says the company.
As the world’s leader in the Aframax tanker segment, Sovcomflot is pioneering the conversion of this class of vessel to LNG as a fuel.
SCF Group signed a bunkering agreement with Shell for the supply of gas engine fuel for SCF’s Aframax tankers that are specially designed to run on LNG. These tankers will join the Sovcomflot Group fleet at the beginning of June 2018. The new tankers will each have deadweight of 114,000 tonnes and certified as ice class 1A.
The use of LNG as a fuel for tankers meets the expectations of both ship owners and charterers seeking to improve cargo transportation’s environmental footprint . An LNG-fuelled engine emits 90% less sulphur oxides (SOx), 80% less nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 15% less carbon dioxide (CO2) than an engine running on common heavy fuel.
“Aframax is one of the key size categories for tankers employed in transportation of liquid hydrocarbons. These are ships that are most in demand to cater for Russian oil exports. Sovcomflot and Shell are initiating the conversion of this segment of large-capacity tankers to gas engine fuel. Sovcomflot aspires to become a leader in the global transformation of maritime transport towards more efficient and environmentally friendly systems and technologies. The market is set a new standard of navigation safety and quality, which is especially important for the operation of ships in environmentally vulnerable areas of the world ocean,” President and CEO Sergey Frank said.
On 26 March the SCF fleet gained the world’s first ice-breaking LNG tanker, Christophe de Margerie, and on 29 March this unique vessel successfully berthed at the gas terminal in the Port of Sabetta (YNAD), becoming the first vessel to do so. The tanker is intended to serve the Yamal LNG project, transporting LNG all year round in the difficult ice conditions of the Kara Sea and Gulf of Ob.
Sergey Frank emphasised that the creation of this unique gas carrier had been preceded by years of work by a large team of specialists from Sovcomflot, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, ABB, Wärtsilä, Aker Arctic, Yamal LNG, the Central Research Institute of Marine Fleet (CRIMF) and the Russian Registry of Shipping (RS). The tanker was built with the latest and safe technologies.