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SCF Group partners with Shell to make the first global step towards LNG-fuelled oil tanker industry

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SCF Group (Sovcomflot) has signed an agreement with Shell Western LNG B.V. (Shell) for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel the first Aframax crude oil tankers in the world to be powered by LNG. The agreement was announced by Sergey Frank, President & CEO of Sovcomflot, and Maarten Wetselaar, Integrated Gas and New Energies Director at Shell.

The agreement calls for Shell to provide the LNG fuel for the new generation of SCF Group’s 114,000 deadweight ice-classed Aframax tankers that are scheduled to come into operation beginning in Q3 2018. They will be the first LNG-fuelled Aframax tankers and will operate primarily between the Baltic and Northern Europe transporting crude oil and petroleum products. Shell will fuel the vessels from a specialized LNG bunker vessel at the Gas Access to Europe (GATE) terminal in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and other supply points in the Baltic. Each LNG-fuelled tanker will have an ice class 1A hull enabling year-round export operations from the Russian Baltic.



“SCF Group and Shell have an extensive and successful track record of collaboration and technical innovation, and at the heart of our joint aspirations is the shared desire to play a major role in delivering a cleaner and safer maritime environment. This is why SCF Group and Shell decided to pilot this breakthrough initiative to switch the principal fuel of Aframax tankers, the workhorse of the global tanker industry, to LNG,” said Sergey Frank.  

“This is an important next step for gas as part of the energy mix. The decision to work with SCF Group to power the world’s first LNG-fuelled Aframax crude oil tankers is evidence of Shell’s commitment to LNG as a transport fuel. LNG will increasingly play a larger role in helping the shipping industry meet new emissions regulations,” said Maarten Wetselaar.

The signing of this milestone agreement marks the fulfilment of an MOU signed between Shell and SCF in September 2015 to develop Marine LNG fuelling for large-capacity tankers. 

The use of LNG fuel significantly improve vessels’ environmental performance and meets the growing desire of customers to see their shipping requirements provided with minimal adverse impact on the environment. 

Engines running on LNG release over 90 per cent less Sulphur Oxide (SOx), over 80 per cent less Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and over 15 per cent less Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere than engines burning standard marine fuels. In addition, the selection of the low pressure X-DF dual fuel engine for these tankers will minimise Particulate Matter emissions. Further, the engines will be fitted with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology to comply with Tier III regulations governing NOx emissions when in fuel mode. 

SCF Group has opted for these innovative technical solutions to ensure that the new generation of Aframax tankers exceeds rather than simply complies with emission legislation and sets the standard for shipping in the environmentally sensitive regions in which the fleet operates.

The concept for these tankers was developed jointly by technical specialists from SCF Group and shipbuilders, including the Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Centre and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the technology partners of Zvezda shipbuilding complex (Primorsky region of the Russian Far East). The concept was developed as part of the preparation for the construction of such vessels at Zvezda. It is envisaged that by 2021 the construction of such large-capacity tankers will commence at Zvezda.  



Signing attendees (left to right): Callum Ludgate, Managing Director, Sovcomflot (UK); Dmitry Bezrukov, Head of Asset Management Division, Sovcomflot; Grigory Aleksandrov, Broker, Sovcomflot (UK); Evgeniy Ambrosov, Senior Executive Vice President & COO, Sovcomflot; Sergey Frank, President & CEO, Sovcomflot; Maarten Wetselaar, Director, Integrated Gas and New Energies, Shell; Lauran Wetemans, General Manager, Downstream LNG, Shell; Karrie Trauth, General Manager, Shipping & Maritime Technology & Innovation, Shell; Olivier Lazare, Executive Vice President, Shell Russia; Steve Hill, Executive Vice President Gas and Energy Marketing & Trading, Shell.

SCF Group: Committed to Being Responsible

SCF Group is relentless in its work towards reducing the environmental impact of its fleet. In 2011-2016, these efforts made it possible to noticeably reduce the emissions of Sulphur Oxide (by 24 per cent per tonne-mile), Nitrogen Oxide (by 10 per cent per tonne-mile), and Carbon Dioxide (by 4 per cent per tonne-mile).

The company continues to invest in the renewal of its fleet, replacing older vessels with modern and energy efficient ships that make extensive use of innovative technologies. The average vessel age within SCF Group’s fleet is currently around 8.5 years, making its ships already relatively new by global shipping industry standards. 

SCF Press Office

PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) is one of the world's leading shipping companies, specialising in the transportation of crude oil, petroleum products, and liquefied gas, as well as servicing offshore upstream oil and gas installations and equipment. The Group’s fleet comprises 147 vessels with a total deadweight of over 13.1 million tonnes. The company is registered in St. Petersburg with offices in Moscow, Novorossiysk, Murmansk, Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, London, Limassol, and Dubai. 

The Group offers a wide range of vessels in the market segments most demanded by major Russian oil and gas companies. With its own technical development and unique approach to advanced technologies, Sovcomflot can meet the most demanding customer requirements, providing effective transportation for oil & gas companies.