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    Shell Fuels Russian Vessel with LNG


The Rotterdam operation was the first in a number of ways.

by: William Powell

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Shell Fuels Russian Vessel with LNG

Anglo-Dutch major Shell completed its first ship-to-ship bunkering of cleaner burning LNG fuel from its specialised LNG bunker vessel, Cardissa, paving the way for many other operations from the vessel. This operation marked a number of other firsts, as it fuelled the Russian state-controlled Sovcomflot (SCF) tanker Gagarin Prospect, the world’s first LNG-powered Aframax tanker. It was also the first ship-to-ship LNG bunkering to take place in the Port of Rotterdam, said SCF October 4.

This was the first operation under the LNG fuel supply agreement between Shell and SCF 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, SCF said. 

Shell said this was "a tangible example" of how it promoted LNG as a cleaner burning and viable fuel for the shipping industry. "It is highly appropriate that we celebrate this first with SCF and their first LNG powered tanker, which we also happen to charter.” 

SCF said it had been working very closely with Shell on every aspect of cleaner shipping, through its 'green funnel' programme. 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.  It added it looked forward to the time when LNG bunkering infrastructure is established in key ports worldwide.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority said it highly values and actively supports a more sustainable transport sector. "As a result of co-operation with many parties like Shell and SCF 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 gases. We welcome the Gagarin Prospect and her sister vessels to our port and look forward to many more secure and efficient LNG bunker operations.” 

The Cardissa can hold around 6,500 metres³ of LNG for bunkering. SCF has also built LNG tankers that are used for the Sakhalin Energy and Yamal LNG projects.