Video: Russia’s first LNG bunkering vessel launched

Keppel’s Nantong yard in China has launched Russia’s first LNG bunkering vessel for Gazprom Neft.

The vessel is almost complete and the yard will now work on final installation of navigation systems and controls, and installation of key equipment rooms, Gazprom Neft said on Wendesday.

Furthermore, the unit of Russian gas giant Gazprom says the vessel would join its fleet in the second half of next year after it completes trials planned for spring.

To remind, Keppel Singmarine, a unit of Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine, won the contract to build the 5,800-cbm Arc4 ice-class vessel back in December 2018.

Moreover, the yard recently completed the installation of two LNG tanks, each with a capacity of 2,900 cbm, and other cryogenic equipment.

Baltic Sea ice-breaker

The LNG bunkering vessel, named in honour of the great Russian chemist and researcher Dmitry Mendeleev, will provide fuel via ship-to-ship transfers throughout the Baltic Sea.

These include clients at major ports in St Petersburg, Ust-Luga, Primorsk but also elsewhere, according to Gazprom Neft.

As per the specifications, the vessel is 100 metres long, and 19 metres wide. Its Arc4 ice-class reinforced hull enables it to navigate one-year-old ice of up to 80 cm thick, independently.

The vessel features dual-fueled Wartsila engines that will also use LNG as fuel.

Additionally, the ships’ integrated digital system allows that just one crew member controls the vessel directly from the navigation bridge, the Russian firm said.

“Its environmental and performance characteristics are going to see liquid natural gas becoming one of the main motor fuels in the medium term, in considerable demand in international shipping,” Gazprom Neft’s Anatoly Cherner said.

He added that Gazprom Neft was the first in Russia to initiate a project on building a LNG-powered vessel for bunkering, a key stage in developing domestic eco-friendly shipping.

“Completing the construction and commissioning of our own high-tech LNG-bunkering vessel next year will mark another major step forward here,” Cherner said.

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