Environmental protection and energy efficiency


Sovcomflot appreciates its responsibility for the quality of the environment and seeks to minimise its impact on the environment by introducing innovations, reducing energy consumption, and increasing staff qualifications. 

SCF Group’s fleet meets the highest environmental standards and complies with both existing and anticipated regulations and requirements. The company systematically renews its fleet with the introduction of modern, energy efficient tonnage, which incorporates the latest safety technologies and features. All new tankers delivered to Sovcomflot have an additional class notation confirming their high environmental compatibility. This is another proof of Sovcomflot’s commitment to being responsible.

Sovcomflot Group’s operating specifics are associated with certain man-made environmental impacts, which include emissions from different types of fuel burned by ship engines and discharge of wastewater generated by ships.

The Sovcomflot Group environmental protection policy is an integral component of the overall management system for safe operation of ships and pollution prevention established in accordance with the International Safety Management Code, which lays down the principles, goals, objectives and key areas of the company’s environmental safety activities.

The main goals of the SCF environmental protection policy are to increase environmental sustainability of the fleet and to raise the capitalisation of the Group by ensuring the reliability and environmental safety of the services rendered.

The Environmental Protection Policy provides for the following activities: 

  • Environmental monitoring and audit; 
  • Programmes aimed at increasing the competencies and awareness of personnel in relation to environmental protection; 
  • Investment programmes to increase the energy efficiency and environmental safety of core operations; 
  • Environmental risk management programmes, which include risk identification and assessment, implementation of environmental protection measures, and monitoring and assessing their adequacy.

Sovcomflot Group has in place an environmental management system, which was established in accordance with the principles, goals and objectives of the Environmental Protection Policy, and encompasses the activity of all employees of the Group, from ships’ crews to top management.

Reducing vessel emissions

The basic components of atmospheric emissions are carbon, sulphur and nitrogen oxides formed during the combustion of fuel in ship engines.

Sovcomflot commits itself to steadily reducing its emission footprint. The company actively contributes to implementing the state programme of the Russian Federation to expand the use of LNG fuel within the transportation sector. Compared with standard marine fuels, the use of LNG allows for a dramatic reduction in the emissions of Sulphur Oxides (SOx), Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), greenhouse gas, and particulate matter.

Sovcomflot pioneered the adoption of LNG as a primary fuel for large-capacity tankers and introduced the ‘Green Funnel’ series of the world’s first LNG-fuelled Aframax tankers. With this initiative, Sovcomflot has set a new safety standard for the global tanker industry.

In 2019, LNG fuel accounted for 17 per cent of the total fuel consumption of SCF fleet, compared with 12 per cent in 2018 

To control emissions, the company develops a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for each ship. Sovcomflot also uses vessel fuel with a reduced sulphur content to fulfill EU Council Directive 2012/33/EU on the sulphur content of certain marine fuels.

Atmospheric emissions from an LNG-fuelled tanker, tonnes per year

Wastewater and waste management

A key focus of the Sovcomflot Group’s environmental protection activities is reducing the amount of wastewater and waste that gets into the World ocean during ship operations. These activities are carried out pursuant to the internal procedures of the Group, which encompass the requirements of both international and domestic legislation.

At present the Group’s ships are equipped with wastewater treatment systems that combine me-chanical, chemical, physical-chemical (including electrolysis) and biological methods. All wastewater treatment plants on board ships have the approval of classification societies confirming compliance with the requirements of Annex IV of the MARPOL 73/78 Convention. The quality of discharged water is confirmed by a wastewater plant certificate (type approval certificate).

Management of garbage produced on ships during operations is also organised in strict compliance with Annex V of the MARPOL 73/78 Convention, which governs the prevention of pollution by garbage from ships.

Improving energy efficiency

Energy consumption reduction is conducive to minimising negative impact on the environment. Sovcomflot Group has developed and implemented an Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency Programme, aimed at promoting the efficient use of fuel and energy resources and improving
the environmental sustainability of the fleet.

Energy audits are conducted regularly on the Group’s ships. These make it possible to obtain reli-able information on the consumption of fuel and oil and the energy efficiency of ship engines and boilers and to identify opportunities for saving energy and increasing the energy and environmental performance of ship power plants.

During 2019 Sovcomflot Group continued to implement a number of organisational and technical measures to promote efficient use of fuel and energy resources and improve the environmental sustainability of the fleet:

  • Applying slow steaming on ships to reduce fuel consumption and air emissions. The results show that operating vessels at low speeds (7-9 knots) with the main engine loads less than 40% of MCR increases their energy efficiency and environmental compatibility.
  • Determining and applying the optimal pitch angle for each vessel during ballast voyage to minimise fuel consumption on the main engine. The optimal trim was determined for each series of vessels by conducting thermal tests at various pitch angles. This measure has been used on the Company’s ships since 2009. 
  • Monitoring and optimising energy consumption for heating and ventilation in the ship’s living quarters.
  • Optimising the power output in navigation and harbour modes.
  • Establishing an energy conservation culture on ships.
  • Checking fuel and oil consumption meters on ships.
  • Monitoring the state of the hull and its timely cleaning. The main engine propeller characteristics are monitored. The speed of the ship relative to land and water, weather conditions, and propeller slip are controlled on a daily basis. In some cases, underwater images are taken to evaluate hull fouling.
  • Ensuring that the consumption of main engine cylinder oil does not exceed the recommended level.
  • Determining readiness of the ship’s power plant depending on the harbour accommodation and requiring a minimum number of mechanisms working (instant readiness and readiness at a given time).
  • Using innovative low-friction hull coatings in order to increase the inter-docking period, reduce the hull fouling and eliminate the need for underwater hull cleaning between dockings.
  • Replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving (fluorescent, including compact fluorescent, and LED) bulbs on a scheduled basis. Placing light sources (local lighting, spot lighting) in an optimal way. Increasing the light output of existing sources (replacing lamp shades, cleaning them, using more efficient reflectors). Using lighting control devices (motion sensors, light sensors, timers).