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Sovcomflot CEO keen to see Russia improve port infrastructure for LNG bunkering

Sergey Frank also eager for authorities to offer incentives to shipping firms adopting eco-friendly solutions.

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Updated on 28 Sep 2017 10:37 GMT

The president and CEO of PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group), Sergey Frank, says he is hopeful that Russia will be able to improve its port infrastructure for the supply of LNG bunkers and is keen to see the country's authorities offer incentives to shipping companies that adopt the use of eco-friendly solutions.

Speaking during the signing of a set of agreements for the construction of five LNG-fuelled Aframax tankers for the transportation of crude and oil products, Frank said: "We hope that the beginning of serial production of cutting-edge, large-capacity, LNG-fuelled tankers in Russia will facilitate the further development of Russia's port infrastructure that will allow ships to be bunkered with LNG fuel at Russian ports.

"We are also looking forward to seeing Russian regulators and maritime authorities continue with providing incentives for charterers, ship owners, and fleet operators who are taking real steps towards investing in green technologies."

The five-tanker construction agreement was signed by SCF on Tuesday together with Rosneft, the State Transport Leasing Company (STLC), and Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex.

The 114,000-deadweight-tonne (dwt) vessels are to be built by Zvezda in conjunction with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI). They are due to enter into service beginning from 2021, when they will be operated by SCF.

The ships have been purpose-designed to use LNG as their primary fuel. The technical specification of the new tankers was designed by SCF's specialists, with the collaboration of the Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Centre (FESRC).

Igor Tonkovidov, Executive Vice-President and Technical Director of Sovcomflot, remarked: "SCF Group strives to reduce systematically the environmental impact of vessels. To this end, we are prioritising the switch to the use of LNG as a primary vessel fuel, a complex solution which we consider to be efficient both environmentally and economically. When compared to engines running on standard marine fuels, it allows us to reduce the volume of all major emission types at once, such as sulphur oxide (SOx), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and carbon dioxide (CO2)."

As Bunker Index previously reported in April, SCF has signed an agreement with Shell Western LNG B.V. for the supply of bunkers to the world's first LNG-powered Aframax crude oil tankers. The new vessels are scheduled to start operating during the third quarter of 2018.

Image: Sergey Frank, president and CEO of PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group). Credit: Kremlin.ru.

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