Russia’s SCF Group (Sovcomflot) has signed an agreement with Shell Western LNG B.V. (Shell) for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel the first Aframax crude oil tankers in the world to be powered by LNG.
Under the deal, Shell will provide the LNG fuel for the new generation of SCF Group’s 114,000 deadweight ice-classed Aframax tankers that are scheduled to come into operation beginning in Q3 2018. They will operate primarily between the Baltic and Northern Europe transporting crude oil and petroleum products.
Shell will fuel the vessels from a specialized LNG bunker vessel at the Gas Access to Europe (GATE) terminal in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and other supply points in the Baltic. Each LNG-fuelled tanker will have an ice class 1A hull enabling year-round export operations from the Russian Baltic, SCF said.
“This is an important next step for gas as part of the energy mix. The decision to work with SCF Group to power the world’s first LNG-fuelled Aframax crude oil tankers is evidence of Shell’s commitment to LNG as a transport fuel. LNG will increasingly play a larger role in helping the shipping industry meet new emissions regulations,” said Maarten Wetselaar, Integrated Gas and New Energies Director at Shell.
The signing of the deal marks the fulfilment of an MOU signed between Shell and SCF in September 2015 to develop Marine LNG fuelling for large-capacity tankers.
The concept for these tankers was developed jointly by technical specialists from SCF Group and shipbuilders, including the Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Centre and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the technology partners of Zvezda shipbuilding complex.
The concept was developed as part of the preparation for the construction of such vessels at Zvezda, which is envisaged to start by 2021.