Oil major Shell on Tuesday signed time-charter agreements with shipping firm SCF Group (Sovcomflot) for two dual-fuelled ice class 114,000 deadweight Aframax tankers.
The LNG-powered vessels are part of a series of six SCF Group tankers currently under construction and due for delivery between Q3 2018 and Q1 2019; they will be on time charter to Shell for up to 10 years, with a minimum commitment of five years.
The new contracts follow the LNG Fuel Supply Agreement between Shell and Sovcomflot in 2017 that aims for LNG-fuelled vessels not to be tied to fixed routes or set timetables.
The vessels will also use Shell’s specialised LNG bunker vessels, such as the Cardissa, for fuelling in North West Europe. Shell will provide further supply points across North West Europe and the Baltic as it expands its LNG fuelling infrastructure.
“Together, SCF Group and Shell are leading the development and adoption of LNG as a fuel within the tanker industry, committed to significantly reducing the environmental footprint of energy shipping,” said Evgeny Ambrosov, Senior Executive Vice-President of SCF Group.
“After proper experience of operating LNG-fuelled vessels, SCF Group will share its feedback on their performance with Zvezda shipbuilding complex, a Russian facility that is envisaged to commence the domestic construction of such large-capacity LNG-fuelled tankers by 2021.
“At SCF Group we have a strong sense of pride that Shell has chosen to partner with us in creating LNG-fuelled Aframax tankers.”
According to Sovcomflot, the technical specifications for the newbuilds have been developed by its engineering centre, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Russian shipbuilders (Zvezda shipbuilding complex, Primorsk region).
The vessels’ main engines, auxiliaries, and boilers will be dual fuel, capable of using LNG, and the vessels will also be fitted with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology to comply with Tier III regulations governing NOx emissions when in gasoil fuel mode.
“LNG fuel will play a fundamental role in the future energy mix,” notes Mark Quartermain, Vice-President, Shell Crude Trading.
“Chartering and fuelling these vessels highlights Shell’s commitment to LNG as emissions standards tighten. We look forward to continuing to build upon our strong relationship with SCF to support our trading operations in key areas.”
Photo credit: SCF Group
Published: 21 February, 2018
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