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    Russia's First LNG Bunkering Ship Set Afloat


The vessel will operate at ports in the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea.

by: Joe Murphy

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Russia's First LNG Bunkering Ship Set Afloat

Russia's first LNG bunkering vessel has been set afloat after the completion of hull assembly and LNG fuel tank installation, its operator Gazprom Neft reported on December 23.

The vessel, named after Russian chemist Dmitry Mendeleev, has been moved to dock for the installation of navigation systems and controls, as well as key equipment rooms. Sea trials are scheduled to start in the spring of 2021. The ship will join Gazprom Neft's fleet in the second half of 2021, providing ship-to-ship bunkering services to passenger and cargo vessels at ports in the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea, including St Petersburg, Ust-Luga and Primorsk.

Gazprom Neft said it expected LNG to become one of the main motor fuels in the medium term, with considerable demand emerging in international shipping.

"Our company was the first in Russia to initiate a project on building a LNG-powered vessel for bunkering," Gazprom Neft's deputy CEO for logistics, processing and sales Anatoly Cherner said. "Completing the construction and commissioning of our own high-tech LNG-bunkering vessel next year will mark another major step forward here."

The bunkering vessel also uses LNG as its fuel. It is 100 metres in length, 19 metres in width and can transport up to 5,800 m3 of LNG. Its Arc4 ice-class reinforced hull means it can navigate through year-old ice up to 80 cm thick independently.