Russian shipping line Sovcomflot builds up gas fleet with new LNG carrier on contract to Shell

Wednesday, 16 September 2020
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Sovcomflot, the Russian shipping line with 31 gas carriers in operation or on order in an overall fleet of almost 150 vessels, has taken delivery of its latest LNG carrier “SCF Barents”, chartered to Royal Dutch Shell and named after the 16th-century Dutch Arctic explorer Willem Barents.

The ship with capacity of 174,000 cubic metres was handed over at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea.

After the vessel’s naming ceremony, it embarked on its maiden voyage under a long-term time charter agreement with one of Shell’s subsidiaries.

Sovcomflot President and Chief Executive Igor Tonkovidov, attended the ceremony along with Cederic Cremers, Chairman of the Shell subsidiary in Russia.

Also representatives at the event were the executives of the three European banks which provided the shipping finance, ING Bank of the Netherlands, France’s Crédit Agricole and KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH of Germany.

Shell executive Catherine Hall, the General Manager of Global Operations and Commercial Services at Shell Trading & Supply was the vessel’s sponsor at the ceremony.

“SCF Group and Shell have enjoyed a long-standing partnership, which both parties seek to consistently expand and reinforce,” said CEO Tonkovidov of Sovcomflot, also known as SCF Group.

“For many years, Shell has been amongst the largest charterers of SCF’s vessels,” he added.

“The delivery of ‘SCF Barents’ is important as growing our fleet of gas carriers is a strategic priority for SCF,” stated Tonkovidov.

“With the delivery, we now have 15 gas carriers in operation, with another 16 under construction. Thus, two-thirds of all vessels currently ordered by SCF are destined to expand our gas fleet,” he explained.

The “SCF Barents” is the second vessel in a series of three with 174,000 cubic metres capacity in the new-generation Atlanticmax series ordered by SCF in 2018.

The first vessel of the series, “SCF La Perouse”, was delivered in February 2020.

“All vessels in the series are designed to maximise their energy efficiency and meet the most stringent environmental standards, with their fuel consumption substantially reduced compared to the preceding generation of vessels,” said SCF.

“Each LNG carrier is equipped with an advanced Mark III Flex cargo containment system, slow-speed dual-fuel X-DF engine, and a system that reduces nitrogen-oxide emissions while the vessel sails in liquid fuel mode,” the shipping line added.

“In addition, all vessels of the series are among the first globally to feature a boil-off gas partial re-liquefaction system, which significantly reduces cargo losses while on long voyages or awaiting cargo operations,” said SCF.

SCF is developing into one of the world’s premier energy shipping companies, specialising in crude oil, petroleum products and liquefied gas, as well as the servicing of offshore oil and gas production.

The Group’s fleet has total deadweight of over 12.7 million tonnes, including vessels owned through joint ventures. More than 80 vessels are of ice class for Arctic waters.

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