Sovcomflot’s crude oil tanker completes 1st commercial voyage on LNG fuel

Image courtesy of Sovcomflot

Sovcomflot’s crude oil tanker Gagarin Prospect, operating on LNG fuel, completed its voyage across the Baltic and North Seas from Primorsk to Rotterdam on October 22. 

The vessel delivered a cargo of 104,815 tonnes of crude oil to Rotterdam.

For the LNG-powered tanker, it marked its first export delivery of Russian crude oil under a long-term time-charter contract between SCF and Shell, according to a Sovcomflot statement on Wednesday.

Gagarin Prospect is the world’s first Aframax crude oil tanker designed to operate on LNG as the primary fuel.

“Switching to cleaner-burning LNG fuel allows Sovcomflot to significantly reduce its impact on the natural environment,” the Russian shipping company said in its statement.

This is particularly important for ships in high-traffic areas such as the Baltic and North Seas where these ‘Green Funnel’ tankers will primarily operate, it said.

Sovcomflot is gradually switching its conventional tanker fleet from traditional heavy fuel oil to LNG.

This is to reduce its environmental footprint and to comply with tightening sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions regulations, including the IMO’s global 0.5% sulphur cap, which takes effect in 2020.

Sovcomflot expects to have six LNG-fueled Aframax tankers in operation by the beginning of the second quarter in 2019.

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