Gazprom and Sovcomflot expand cooperation in LNG transportation


Today Gazprom and Sovcomflot named the new state-of-the-art 170,0003;  liquefied natural gas carrier (LNGC) Pskov, after one of the oldest Russian  cities. The ship will be chartered to Gazprom Global LNG (GGLNG) under a  long-term contract.

LNGC Pskov is the second vessel in a series of  high-specification, ice class Atlanticmax LNG carriers that have been specially  designed in accordance with Gazprom’s requirements, and will support Gazprom’s  global commercial operations in the gas markets. The first LNGC, Velikiy  Novgorod, was delivered and entered service in January of this year. The naming  ceremony took place at the STX shipyard, South Korea.


The LNG carriers Velikiy Novgorod and Pskov are an integral part of the  cooperation between Gazprom and Sovcomflot, aimed at development of new ‘Gaz  Ice’ type LNGCs for harsh environment conditions, with improved technical  characteristics to meet Gazprom’s requirements. The Gaz Ice project is the  result of joint cooperation between specialists from GGLNG, Sovcomflot, the  Russian Maritime Register of Shipping and Russian shipbuilders. Special  provisions have been made for progressive localisation of construction work for  the LNGC’s at Russian shipyards.


LNGCs of this type are among the most  advanced vessels of their class. Their cutting-edge design (including tri-fuel  diesel-electric propulsion systems) has been specially adapted for harsh  environment operations (Ice2 according to the Russian Maritime Register of  Shipping, with special hardware for operations in low temperature conditions).  The design of the gas carriers complies with the latest requirements regarding  environmental standards, energy efficiency, crew working and leisure conditions,  as well as onboard safety. The type of cargo system (reinforced membrane  structure) is suited to operations in challenging climatic conditions. This has  been proven through trials carried out in collaboration with experts from the  Russian Maritime Register of Shipping and the Krylov State Research Centre. The  LNGC Pskov is capable of transporting gas on a year-round basis from practically  all existing LNG terminals in the world, including Russia’s first LNG terminal,  Sakhalin-2, and the future Vladivostok LNG terminal.

Traditionally,  Sovcomflot assigns a high priority to the training and education of Russia’s  next generation of seafarers. In this respect, the Group has developed strong  links with Russia’s leading maritime universities and training institutions. SCF  Group invited a group of cadets from the Admiral Nevelskoy State Maritime  University (Vladivostok) to attend the Pskov’s naming ceremony in Busan. On this  occasion the training tall ship Nadezhda, a winner of the Black Sea Tall Ships  Regatta-2014, sponsored by STI and Sovcomflot, made a special call at the port  of Busan on her way home. This allowed cadets to attend the naming ceremony,  have a tour of the new state-of-the-art LNGC and hold a meeting with SCF  management and the ship’s master.

As an equal opportunity employer, SCF  welcomes the fact that a significant proportion of cadets participating in the  ceremony were young women, who in the future could be employed on SCF vessels.  The new LNGC Pskov also has a female officer amongst her crew – the 4th officer  Lyana Mitrofanova. She is a 23 year old who was born in the city of Pskov and  recently graduated from the Admiral Makarov Maritime University (St.  Petersburg), the former school of the legendary Anna Schetinina, the world's  first woman to serve as a captain of an ocean-going vessel.

The naming  ceremony was attended by: the Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee of OAO  Gazprom Alexander Medvedev; Sovcomflot’s COO Evgeniy Ambrosov; Ambassador of the  Russian Federation in the Republic of Korea Konstantin Vnukov; the Rector of the  Admiral Nevelskoy State Maritime University (Vladivostok), Sergey Ogay; the  Captain of LNGC Pskov, Igor Panasenko, and the vessel’s crew as well as other  guests.

Commenting on the announcement Evgeniy Ambrosov, Chief Operating  Officer of OAO Sovcomflot, said:

“The growth of SCF Group’s LNG tanker  fleet, with the addition of the modern, high ice class vessel Pskov, is a  logical development of SCF Group’s Strategy, which envisages significant growth  of the Group’s gas transportation business, in line with the new industrial  energy projects in harsh environments.”

”We are very grateful to our  partners at Gazprom for the trust they have placed in us and in return are  pleased to be able to offer them our first-class LNG transportation services,  guaranteeing reliable, efficient and environmentally safe shipping. We are  confident that this ship will allow Gazprom to strengthen its position in the  global LNG production and supply markets.

“The LNGC Pskov is named after  a historic city located in the Western region of Russia, counting over a  thousand years of history. The city was renowned for its significant merchant  ties, serving as a gateway to the Baltic region and beyond – linking Northern  Europe with Southern part of the continent and Asia.”

Nikolai Kolesnikov,  Chief Financial Officer of Sovcomflot, noted:

“The financing of the  construction of LNGCs Velikiy Novgorod and Pskov was supported by a consortium  of leading international banks from Europe and Asia – ING Bank N.V.  (Netherlands), KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH (Germany) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking  Corporation (Japan). In 2013, the financing transaction was recognized by  “Marine Money” shipping magazine as “The Deal of the Year” in the project  finance category. Recently, the transaction has also been nominated for the  “Deal of the Year” award by Lloyd’s List reflecting its robust structure and the  credit quality of the deal and its participants. The long-term time-charter of  Pskov by Gazprom will add to SCF Group’s portfolio of fixed-term LNG business  and increase further its future contracted revenues.”

Sovcomflot Press  Office

OAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) is Russia’s largest shipping  company and a world leader in the maritime transportation of hydrocarbons as  well as the servicing and support of offshore exploration and oil & gas  production. SCF Group is the largest operator of ice class LNG carriers in the  world. The company’s fleet (owned & chartered) specialises in hydrocarbon  transportation from regions with challenging ice conditions and includes 153  vessels, with a combined deadweight of 12.6 million tonnes. A third of these  vessels have a high ice class. Sovcomflot supports large-scale offshore energy  projects in Russia and overseas, including: Sakhalin-I; Sakhalin-II; Varandey;  Prirazlomnoye; Tangguh; Escobar and Peregrino. The company is registered in  Saint-Petersburg and has representative offices in Moscow, Novorossiysk,  Murmansk, Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, London, Limassol, Madrid, Singapore  and Dubai.

Gazprom Global LNG (GGLNG) is a  subsidiary of OAO Gazprom with a diverse range of commercial activities and a  truly international portfolio, which includes projects in Asia – home to the  company’s Singapore branch, Gazprom Marketing & Trading Singapore Pte  Limited. It is one of the most active LNG traders and charterers in the  region.

The company’s head office is located in London. Its business  strategies focus on increasing orders for LNG shipping services in the medium-  and long-term, breaking into new markets (including those inaccessible to gas  pipeline technology), introducing new products and services, and forging  partnerships with new clients and suppliers.

The  city of Pskov is one of the oldest cities in Russia. Its earliest mention  dates from 903, and in 2014 the city will celebrate Pskov's 1,111th anniversary.  Its most powerful force was the merchant community, who brought the town into  the Hanseatic League. For Russia, the city of Pskov was a bridge towards Europe;  for Europe, it was a western outpost of Russia. A local school of icon-painting  flourished, and local masons were considered the best in the country. Many  peculiar features of Russian architecture were first introduced in Pskov. The  city still preserves much of its medieval walls, built from the 13th century  onwards. Pskov is rich in picturesque churches, dating mainly from the 15th and  the 16th centuries. Products manufactured by companies based in Pskov were also  used in the construction of the LNGC Pskov.