Russia’s largest shipping company Sovcomflot has ordered two liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fuelled aframax tankers at the new Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex.
VEB-Leasing will finance the construction of the tankers, whilst a subsequent 20-year time-charter for them has been agreed with Russia’s Rosneft, according to a Sovcomflot statement on Tuesday.
The vessels will have a deadweight of 114,000 tonnes and a 1A/1B ice class, which makes them able to operate all year round in areas with difficult ice conditions, including sub-Arctic seas and Russian ports of the Baltic region.
The technical specification of the tankers reflects the regulatory limits on sulphur, nitrogen and greenhouse gas emissions, which will come into effect for the Baltic and North Seas in 2020, the statement said.
These “next-generation” tankers, designed to operate on LNG fuel, will “significantly reduce emissions of harmful substances: sulphur oxides (SOx) by 100 per ent; nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 76 percent and carbon dioxide (CO2) by 27 percent, when compared with similar vessels operating on heavy fuel,” the statement said.
The technical specification of the vessels was designed by SCF’s specialists with the close involvement of the Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Centre (FESRC) and South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries, a technological partner of Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex.
“We welcome the plans of the Russian shipbuilders, from Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex, to create modern large-capacity vessels using natural gas-based bunkers (LNG) as their primary fuel. I’m sure that it is with such vessels that the future of merchant shipping lies,” Sergey Frank, President and CEO of Sovcomflot said in the statement.
“I am confident that the experience gained in the technical and commercial operation of SCF’s next-generation tankers will be in demand both with our customers and Russian shipbuilders, helping to consolidate the leadership of Russian companies in the implementation of “green technologies” in maritime transport,” Frank said.
(This article has been corrected to say that Sovcomflot has ordered two LNG-fuelled tankers instead of five.)