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LNG as marine fuel economically more viable in ECAs, says Sovcomflot

01 Nov 2019

Crude oil, petroleum products, and liquefied gas maritime transportation firm Sovcomflot believes liquefied natural gas (LNG) to be the bunker fuel of choice when operating in emission control areas (ECAs).

“We are confident that using LNG fuel for vessels trading in Emission Control Zones such as the North and Baltic Seas is economically more viable than using standard MDO,” said Igor Tonkovidov, President and CEO of Sovcomflot, at an October conference held in Moscow.

“Our experience of operating large-capacity LNG-fuelled tankers for more than a year shows that that using LNG as a primary fuel achieves a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with similar vessels powered by traditional heavy fuel.

“Russia’s access to vast deposits of gas gives our country a natural competitive advantage.”

Tonkovidov further noted that the Russian Ministry of Transport and the Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport have already taken a number of consecutive steps to promote the use of LNG as a cleaner-burning fuel.

In particular, Baltic ports now provide discounts on port dues for LNG-fuelled vessels.

Currently, Gazprom Neft Marine Bunker, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, has the first Russian LNG bunkering vessel under construction, which will operate on the Baltic.

In June 2019, Sovcomflot and Gazprom Neft Marine Bunker signed an agreement to cooperate on implementing projects for bunkering ships with LNG fuel.

Sovcomflot currently has six LNG-fuelled crude oil tankers in operation.

“During the summer navigation period this year, several Sovcomflot vessels have successfully completed commercial voyages across the Northern Sea Route while using only LNG fuel for the entire length of it,” said Tonkovidov.

“During these voyages, we have tested the operation of tanker fuel systems and vessel machinery in low temperatures of the Arctic, and used a new deep-water route through the northern part of the East Siberian Sea.

“With these voyages, Sovcomflot has once again demonstrated its commitment to using cleaner-burning fuel for operations in the Arctic.”

Related: Gazpromneft LNG bunkering operations for STS to start from 2021
Related: Sovcomflot and Gazprom Neft agree to cooperate on LNG bunkering
Related: Sovcomflot LNG-fuelled tankers complete Northern Sea Route

Photo credit: Sovcomflot
Published: 1 November, 2019


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