Sovcomflot Group and Gazprom Neft Marine Bunker have signed an agreement to cooperate on projects for bunkering ships with LNG fuel.
The agreement was signed (pictured above) by Igor Tonkovidov, executive vice president and chief operating and chief technical officer of Sovcomflot, and Andrey Vasiliev, CEO of Gazprom Neft, at a ceremony during the 2019 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
“Sovcomflot has been systematically working on switching its tanker fleet to LNG fuel for a number of years, and we welcome the opportunity to expand cooperation with Gazprom Neft in this area, combining the efforts of our companies to introduce advanced environmental standards into the Russian shipping sector,” Tonkovidov said.
Vasiliev said, “The stringent tightening of environmental standards under the international MARPOL convention presents a serious challenge both for market players in maritime transportation and for water transport fuel supply companies. Gazprom Neft’s response to this challenge has been a project to develop Russia’s first LNG bunkering barge and become actively involved in the process of developing Russian regulation governing the use of LNG as a marine fuel.
Sovcomflot said in 2018 it became the world’s first company to begin operating large-tonnage oil tankers of Aframax size using LNG as their primary fuel. To date, Sovcomflot’s fleet consists of six such tankers. These vessels are mainly used for exporting Russian oil across the Baltic and North Seas.
Sovcomflot has five more LNG-fueled tankers under construction.