Sovcomflot orders LNG-powered Aframaxes at Zvezda

Sep 14 2018

PAO Sovcomflot (SCF) has signed a set of agreements with Rosneft, Zvezda Shipbuilding and VEB Group.

The agreements have resulted in SCF placing orders with Zvezda for two LNG powered Aframaxes.


VEB-Leasing will finance their construction, whilst subsequently, a 20-year timecharter was agreed with Rosneft.


Each vessel will have a deadweight of 114,000 tonnes and will be built to A/1B Ice Class, which enables them to operate all year round in areas with difficult ice conditions, including sub-Arctic seas and Russian ports in the Baltic region.


The vessels’ technical specification was designed by an SCF team with the close involvement of the Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Centre (FESRC) and Hyundai Heavy Industries, a technological partner of Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex.


Sergey Frank, SCF President and CEO, said: “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.


“Sovcomflot is the world leader in the Aframax tanker segment, with our vessels serving the needs of the largest oil and gas companies for safe transportation of crude oil in the Baltic, North Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean, Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan.


“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. Sovcomflot is grateful to Rosneft for its decision to use next generation LNG-fuelled tankers in its export programme.


“This project builds on the positive experience of interaction with Vneshekonombank in financing the construction of unique ‘Mikhail Ulyanov’ series of Arctic shuttle tankers at the Admiralty Shipyards in St Petersburg,” he said.


In addition, it has been announced that Zvezda shipyard and Samsung Heavy Industries are setting up a joint venture to produce 42,000-120,000 dwt tankers at the Zvezda shipbuilding complex.


The joint venture is due to be set up by the end of this year.


The Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) has also reported that the keel laying ceremony for an Aframax took place on 11th September, 2018 at Zvezda.


‘Saint-Petersburg’ is the first of a series of 10 tankers being built to RS class.


The Aframaxes will be dual fuel able to burn gas, as well as oil.


In another move, SCF has entered into a co-operation agreement with the Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank) and VEB Leasing to progress shipbuilding projects.


Under the trilateral agreement, which was signed on 12th September, 2018, the parties will jointly participate in the implementation of shipbuilding projects at Russian shipyards and import substitution projects.


The deal also provides for the possibility of financial support for the implementation of innovative and advanced technologies, as well as improvements to the energy efficiency of vessels built at domestic shipyards.


The three companies previously co-operated in the construction of two Arctic shuttle tankers, ‘’Mikhail Ulyanov’ and ‘Kirill Lavrov’, built for SCF at the Admiralty Shipyards in St Petersburg.


In a separate move, SCF has also signed a co-operation agreement with the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources to help ensure environmental safety and to preserve the natural environment of the Russian Arctic area.


This agreement provides for the development of proposals for the implementation of comprehensive measures to stimulate the use of new environmentally friendly types of marine fuel, primarily LNG, the development of other green technologies, as well as information exchange and joint activities to prevent substandard navigation in the Arctic seas.


“Strengthening the interaction between business and government agencies to protect the fragile environment of the Arctic is becoming critically important amidst increasing traffic along the Northern Sea Route,” Frank said.


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