Russia’s largest shipping company Sovcomflot (SCF Group) has performed a landmark 150th marine LNG fuelling operation for Green Funnel Aframax tankers with its partner, Hague-based oil and LNG major Shell.

The 150th operation was carried out by Korolev Prospect, on time charter to Chevron.

The ship received 600 tonnes of marine LNG from Shell and delivered by Q-LNG 4000 outside Port Canaveral, Florida whilst en route from Denmark to the US Gulf, according to the statement.

Aframax crude oil tanker Korolev Prospect was built in 2019 and is currently sailing under the flag of Liberia. Chevron will be using the vessel to trial the viability of dual-fuelled tankers for its future operations.

SCF
Photo by: Sovcomflot (SCF Group)

Since operations began in 2018, SCF’s Green Funnel Aframaxes have taken over 62,000 tonnes of marine LNG fuel from Shell.

LNG fuel is said to remain amongst the cleanest burning fuel options currently available for shipping operations.

SCF calculates that since 2018, LNG fuel has helped reduce the total CO₂ emissions of these six Green Funnel tankers by over 56,000 tonnes or by over 14 per cent annually on average.

Sergey Popravko, Chief Operating Officer of PAO Sovcomflot, commented: “We are delighted to have reached this 150th milestone together with our partners, Shell.

LNG fuelling infrastructure expands as demonstrated by SCF and Shell with a number of firsts in North West Europe and the Baltics in 2018-2019, and more recently in the USA and Mediterranean, so we believe the business case for dual-fuelled tankers only increases further.”

Tahir Faruqui, General Manager, Shell Global Downstream LNG, added: “The shipping sector must immediately employ the cleanest fuels available. Today LNG is the choice to ensure we are not adding heavier emitters into the global fleet while we work hard at developing zero-emissions fuels.”

Faruqui further said that the company “fuelled the world’s first LNG-powered Aframax tanker, Sovcomflot’s Gagarin Prospect at the Port of Rotterdam in 2018,” and that its expanded fleet can now be deployed across nine countries and thirteen ports.

The long-term strategy of both SCF and Shell is to continuously reduce the carbon footprint of fleet operations.

Green Funnel project activities

Working on adopting LNG as a main fuel for large-capacity tankers, since 2015, SCF introduced a series of the world’s first LNG-fuelled Aframax tankers in 2018.

Today, SCF has six such tankers in operation, with five more LNG-fuelled tankers of various sizes under construction.

The company’s recent activities also include the first Aframax LNG bunkering in the USA.

The Gagarin Prospect vessel received 1,075 cubic metres of LNG from the Shell NA LNG chartered Q-LNG 4000 outside the Port of Canaveral, Florida. This represented the first ever ship-to-ship LNG fuelling of a large capacity Aframax tanker in the USA.

The event has demonstrated the rapid expansion of LNG bunkering infrastructure globally, Sovcomflot commented.

Currently, the SCF’s fleet comprises 145 vessels with a total deadweight of over 12.6 million tonnes, including vessels owned through joint ventures. More than 80 vessels have an ice class.

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