Russia’s largest shipping company Sovcomflot has called for the Russian government to improve navigational safety measures on the Northern Sea Route (NSR).
The company has also called for a ban on substandard ships and crews sailing in the environmentally sensitive region, following shipping traffic growth along the route that will be utilized by the Yamal LNG project starting in 2018.
Sovcomflot said that in 2018, Yamal LNG, together with Novy Port, both served by the company, are expected to generate around 11.5 million tons of freight alone, almost doubling the Soviet-era NSR peak record of 6.6 million tons in 1987.
SCF shuttle tankers have commenced year-round oil shipments from Novy Port for the first time as recently as September 2016, and Yamal LNG is expected to come onstream in late 2017.
During the meeting between the Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev and Sergey Frank president and CEO of SCF Group (Sovcomflot), the prime minister noted the government will continue developing the NSR infrastructure.
To keep in line with the international and domestic regulations, Sovcomflot is looking to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel for marine transport.
This year, the company has placed an order for a series of the first-ever Aframaxes purpose-designed to be run on LNG. These tankers are scheduled for delivery beginning in 2018.
Each 114,000-dwt tanker will have an ice class sufficient to ensure a safe year-round transportation of crude oil from regions with challenging ice conditions, including subarctic seas.