Russia’s largest shipping firm Sovcomflot will charter two LNG-powered Aframax tankers to compatriot Sakhalin Energy, the operator of the Sakhalin-2 LNG plant, as part of a deal revealed on Friday.
The duo signed charter contracts for two existing LNG-fueled tankers of Sovcomflot’s ‘Green Funnel’ series, Korolev Prospect and Vernadsky Prospect.
Sovcomflot said in a statement it would deliver the vessels to the charterer in 2024.
The LNG-powered ships will ship crude oil for the Gazprom-led Sakhalin-2 project for ten years, with an extension option for up to three years.
Prior to delivery, both tankers will get an upgrade, including the installation of a bow loading system and a modification to their LNG bunkering systems to allow direct fueling from the project’s Prigorodnoye LNG export terminal.
Following the delivery of these two vessels to Sakhalin Energy, the shuttle tankers currently employed at the Sakhalin-2 project would continue to provide shipping services to other Sovcomflot customers, the firm said.
“We deeply appreciate the lasting partnership between Sovcomflot and Sakhalin Energy, which saw our vessels safely deliver 67.5 million tonnes of oil and 55 million cubic metres of LNG to Sakhalin Energy’s customers in the Asia-Pacific,” Igor Tonkovidov, president and CEO of Sovcomflot, said.
He said the new charter agreements would allow the two firms to take their cooperation to the “next level.”
“Sovcomflot continuously works to expand and upgrade its fleet serving the Sakhalin-2 project, making it ever more efficient and safe. We are particularly pleased that Sakhalin Energy is eager to employ our ‘Green Funnel’ tankers, which will help reduce the carbon footprint of cargo shipping in the Far East,” Tonkovidov said.
“The transition to LNG as the marine fuel for vessels employed at the Sakhalin-2 project reflects the global trend towards decarbonisation and is an integral part of our ‘Green LNG’ corporate strategy,” Roman Dashkov, CEO of Sakhalin Energy, said.
This strategy would allow the company to further contribute to reducing its carbon footprint, he said.
To remind, the Sakhalin-2 LNG facility produced and shipped record 11.6 million tonnes of LNG last year. This is equivalent to 178.6 standard cargoes.
It started producing LNG back in 2009 with an design capacity of 9.6 mtpa, but due to technical improvements and upgrades, together with weather and temperature conditions, production rose by 20 percent.