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Gazprom Neft and Sovcomflot in decarbonisation talks to explore alternative marine fuels

06 Sep 2021

Russian oil major Gazprom Neft and shipping firm Sovcomflot on Friday (3 September) said they have signed an agreement at the Eastern Economic Forum to cooperate in improving the efficiency of navigation across the Arctic zone of Russia, while exploring the consumption of alternative fuels. 

Gazprom Neft and Sovcomflot will expand the use of digital technologies to manage Arctic marine logistics. Currently, Sovcomflot’s vessels, which provide year-round uninterrupted export of Arctic oil grades from the Prirazlomnoye and Novoportovskoye fields, are connected to the world’s first digital Arctic logistics management system Kapitan, developed by Gazprom Neft specialists, it states.

The digital navigation platform made it possible to reduce specific transport costs by 12% by choosing the best routes, saving fuel, reducing the cost of icebreaker assistance and reducing the downtime of ships. 

Another key area of the agreement will be the decarbonisation of shipping through the use of alternative types of marine fuel: liquefied natural gas, hydrogen, ammonia and methanol.

As part of the partnership, the parties intend to conduct test trials of promising types of ecofuel on existing Sovcomflot tanker vessels. It is assumed that Gazprom Neft’s first LNG bunkering vessel, Dmitry Mendeleev, will be used to refuel ships with natural gas.

“Sovcomflot is Gazprom Neft’s main partner in the field of maritime logistics. Over 8 Mt of Gazprom Neft’s Arctic oil are transported annually by the vessels of the largest Russian operator on the commercial shipping market,” notes Alexander Dyukov, Chairman of the Management Board of Gazprom Neft.

“We are already actively using digital solutions in our work with Sovcomflot, and under the new agreement we will continue our joint technological development. 

“In addition, the planned use of liquefied natural gas and other environmentally friendly fuels for fueling ships will ensure even better environmental friendliness of sea transport in the Arctic.” 

Igor Tonkovidov, General Director of Sovcomflot, emphasised: 

“In terms of the level of technical equipment and energy efficiency of vessels, the Sovcomflot fleet is consistently among the leaders in the world market for sea transportation of energy carriers. Sovcomflot prioritizes strengthening its technological leadership, which is one of the company’s most important competitive advantages.”

“At the same time, we proceed from the assumption that a key factor in the successful development of both world shipping and world energy is the global energy transformation, which is associated with the transition to cleaner types of fuel. We welcome the opportunity to expand our cooperation with Gazprom Neft, a long-time partner and one of the largest charterers of Sovcomflot vessels. I am convinced.”


Photo credit: Gazprom Neft
Published: 6 September, 2021

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