Sovcomflot takes part in LNG Fleet and LNG Bunkering in Russia conference

"LNG Fleet and LNG Bunkering in Russia", a conference focused on discussion of problems and ways of developing a new future for the shipping industry, was held in Moscow for the second time. Taking place on October 24 with the support of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade and Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport, the conference was attended by representatives from Sovcomflot, Atomflot, United Shipbuilding Corporation, Gazpromneft Marine Bunker, and others. The SCF delegation included Viktor Petrusevich, Captain-Instructor at Sovcomflot Group; Alexander Sokolov, Head of Technical Policy and Shipbuilding; and Denis Gorbachov, Chief Specialist of Navigation Safety Department.

Addressing the conference, Viktor Petrusevich and Denis Gorbachov detailed the first LNG bunkering operation successfully carried out for Gagarin Prospect, the world's first large-capacity Aframax tanker using LNG as the primary fuel. The operation took place in October 2018 at the Port of Rotterdam. 

Bunkering was performed by Shell's specialized bunker vessel, Cardissa. The preparation of tanks for bunkering took 31 hours. 640,000 tonnes (1,540 cubic metres) of LNG were taken on board. The bunkering process was completed in 8 hours. 

Viktor Petrusevich said: 

"During operation of the vessel it was found out that the use of LNG as a fuel was 20% more efficient compared with liquid marine fuel," He told the delegates that Sovcomflot will continue to analyse actual consumption of LNG fuel under different vessel operating modes and benchmark this performance against liquid marine fuel. He explained that Sovcomflot’s second tanker in this series, Lomonosov Prospect, had entered the Northern Sea Route. On October 25 she met with the icebreaker Taimyr and proceed along the NSR toward the Port of Rotterdam for LNG bunkering. 

As the Sovcomflot representative noted, one full tank of LNG fuel is enough for only 18-20 days of operation. This severely restricts the areas where vessels can be used. The need to develop the bunkering base and create related infrastructure is already there. At present vessels of this type can only bunker at the Port of Rotterdam, which has specialized infrastructure. 

"We hope that the necessary infrastructure for bunkering operations will be developed in the Baltic Sea region, promoting a large-scale implementation of LNG as an eco-friendly marine fuel. It is also necessary to develop incentive and motivation measures. Preference schemes for environmentally friendly ships are already used in many ports around the world," noted Viktor Petrusevich. He said that such practices are now also being deployed at Russian domestic ports. For example the port authorities at the Port of Primorsk reduced port fees by 10% for the LNG powered tanker Gagarin Prospect's recent visit. 

SCF Press Office 

PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) is one of the world's leading shipping companies, specializing 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 own and chartered fleet includes 147 vessels with a total deadweight of 12.7 million tonnes. 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.