Sovcomflot LNG-fuelled Tankers Traverse NSR
Two Aframax-sized oil tankers have completed voyages eastbound along Russia’s Northern Sea Route using exclusively LNG as fuel, their state-owned operator Sovcomflot reported on October 21.
The Lomonosov Prospect reached Cape Dezhnev, Russia’s easternmost point, early on October 16, with the Mendeleev Prospect arriving there three days later, Sovcomflot said. Both vessels are bound for China carrying crude oil from Russia’s Baltic Sea port of Primorsk.
The Lomonosov Prospect travelled 2,095 nautical miles from Cape Zhelaniya separating the Barents and Kara Seas in seven days and 20 hours, while the Mendeleev Prospect completed the same journey in seven days and five hours. Sovcomflot made no reference to the Korolev Prospect, which it announced would be its first LNG-fuelled Aframax to make the journey, carrying a cargo of crude from Murmansk to China.
Sovcomflot is steadily introducing LNG as a fuel for transporting large cargoes in the Arctic, with six LNG-fuelled oil tankers currently in operation, all delivered in 2018-2019. The Lomonosov Prospect and Mendeleev Prospect were built by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries and have dual-fuel systems, meaning they can run on LNG and fuel oil.