Aframax LNG bunkering stem marks number of firsts

Oct 05 2018

Shell recently undertook its first ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operation to fuel the world’s first LNG-powered Aframax - Sovcomflot’s ‘Gagarin Prospect’.

The fuel supplier used its specialised LNG bunker supply vessel, ‘Cardissa’, which performed Rotterdam’s first ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operation.

This operation was undertaken as a result of an agreement between Shell and Sovcomflot signed in 2017. This pioneered the expansion of LNG fuel into the tanker industry and, in general, for vessels not tied to fixed routes or set timetables, Sovcomflot claimed. 

Grahaeme Henderson, Vice President, Shell Shipping and Maritime, said: “This exciting first for the ‘Cardissa’ is a tangible example of Shell driving LNG as a cleaner burning and viable fuel for the shipping industry. It is highly appropriate that we celebrate this first with Sovcomflot and their first LNG powered tanker, which we also happen to charter.”

Sergey Frank, Sovcomflot president & CEO, added: “Together with Shell, SCF Group shares a determination to reduce the environmental impact of energy shipping. This was the genesis of our ‘Green Funnel’ project, and since April, 2015, we have been working very closely with Shell on every aspect of it to bring the project to successful fruition.

“The first tangible result was the introduction into service of the world’s first Aframax tanker to use LNG as her primary fuel – ‘Gagarin Prospect’. Her arrival and inaugural LNG bunkering, by Shell’s tanker ‘Cardissa’, heralds a new age of more sustainable and environmentally responsible shipping – especially in the high traffic areas of the Baltic and North Seas, where this new class of ‘Green Aframaxes’ will operate.

“We are proud to partner with Shell and look forward to a bright and cleaner future, as more and more vessels opt for LNG as their primary fuel, and the associated LNG bunkering infrastructure is established in key ports worldwide,” he said.

Allard Castelein, Port of Rotterdam CEO, said: “The Port of Rotterdam Authority highly values and actively supports a more sustainable transport sector. As a result of co-operation with many parties like Shell and Sovcomflot we are leading the way in this transition.

“Compared to other fuels, LNG offers significant benefits to local air quality and contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gasses. We welcome the ‘Gagarin Prospect’ and her sister vessels to our port and look forward to many more secure and efficient LNG bunker operations,” he concluded.

‘Gagarin Prospect’ is the first of six LNG-fuelled, ice-strengthened Aframaxes built by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries.

She is fitted with a 2-stroke, 7X62DF main engine, manufactured under licence from WinGD by Hyundai Heavy Industries’ Engine & Machinery Division (HHI-EMD). The engine is rated at 13,800 kW at 86 rev/min.

The second Aframax, ‘Lomonosov Prospectwas handed over on 2nd October. She will be followed by the ‘Mendeleev Prospect’, ‘Korolev Prospect’, ‘Vernadsky Prospect, and ‘Samuel Prospect due to be delivered between November this year and April, 2019.



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