The world’s first LNG-fuelled Aframax tanker “Gagarin Prospect” operated by Sovcomflot has completed her first commercial voyage under a long-term charter agreement with Shell.
According to Sovcomflot, on October 22, the vessel delivered to Rotterdam 104,815 tons of Russian crude it loaded on October 15 in Primorsk. Earlier, on October 2, the tanker was bunkered with LNG in Rotterdam.
The “Gagarin Prospect” is the first in a series of LNG-fuelled Aframax tankers under construction at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries. The ship entered Sovcomflot’s fleet in July 2018.
In October the second tanker in the series, “Lomonosovsky Prospect” was delivered. The other four ‘green’ tankers will be named “Mendeleev Prospect”, “Korolev Prospect”, “Vernadsky Prospect” and “Samuel Prospect”, the latter after Sir Marcus Samuel, the founder of Shell Transport & Trading Co.
By Q2 2019 Sovcomflot will have taken delivery of all the six in the series.
In addition, the company ordered two LNG-ready Aframax tankers from Russia’s new shipbuilding facility Zvezda this autumn, with delivery scheduled for 2022. These vessels will be chartered out to Rosneft under a 20-year agreement.
Sovcomflot is implementing a transition from traditional fuel types to liquefied natural gas. In 2015, Shell and SCF Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop marine LNG fuelling for large-capacity tankers.