Russia: RS Approves Gazprom’s LNG Tanker Technical Documentation

RS Approves Gazprom's LNG Tanker Technical Documentation

Russian Maritime Register of Shipping has completed Approval in Principal of technical documentation for the LNG tanker that will form the basis of the LNG carrier fleet to meet the future needs of Gazprom Group.

The approved type of the ship (project name – “Gaz-Ice”) in some respects exceeds the characteristics of four state-of-the-art LNG carriers of “Velikiy Novgorod” series currently under construction in South Korea for Gazprom Marketing and Trading (GM&T) and Shell under the supervision of RS and Lloyd’s Register.

As required by GM&T, two alternative designs were developed and approved, with a dual fuel diesel-electric engine (DFDE) and with two-stroke low-speed engines equipped with a sophisticated gas injection system (ME-GI) which, according to calculations, allow to reduce fuel consumption more than twofold as compared with a “conventional” steam power plants.

Membrane type cargo tanks of “Gaz-Ice” with capacity of about 170,000 m3 will enable the transportation of different LNG cargo sizes and a significant boil off rate reduction owing to the use of new technologies that increase the strength and thermal insulating properties of the membrane.

“The design that has been approved by RS was developed by Korean shipbuilders together with the world’s leading shipowners and LNG carrier operators. It reflects the latest advances in gas carrier design and construction, in particular, it boasts a main propulsion plant and cargo system of outstanding efficiency. The design meets the highest environmental requirements (ECO-S notation), provides for a set of measures and equipment for operation at low temperature (Winterization (-30) notation) and Arc4 ice class which allows to use the ship for transportation of liquefied gas along the Northern Sea Route,” said Pavel Shikhov, RS Chief Operating Officer and Head of Classification and Development Directorate.

“The demand of Gazprom Group and other Russian companies for a cost-effective and environmentally friendly tanker fleet for trading and export operations require a comprehensive approach based on a combination of innovation, best achievements of the international shipbuilding science and, practice and an increase in the ‘Russian content’ in the construction of these ships. GM&T’s successful experience in the commercial operation of LNG carriers, the current construction of “Velikiy Novgorod” and “Pskov” gas carriers with our strategic partners ОАО “Sovcomflot” and RS, as well as the development of “Gaz-Ice” allowed us both to define the basis for the future gas-carrying fleet of the Group and to initiate the process of preparing for the construction of these ships in Russia by 2018,” said Mr. Nikolai Grigoriev, Director of Global Shipping and Logistics of Gazprom Marketing & Trading.

Approval of a modern gas carrier design for Gazprom Group is an important step to strengthen the RS position in the area of classification of high-tech ships made as part of ongoing enhancement of marine gas transportation expertise in RS.

Being an important and integral link in developing national expertise in marine transportation of gas, RS was one of the first in Russia to start building the required potential in that area. The recent 3-4 years were especially productive in that respect. Below is a list of high-profile events of the year 2012 which is far from being complete:

  • March 2012: opening of a Design and Newbuilding Support Centre in the Republic of Korea (Pusan), which is inter alia intended to support gas carrier construction;
  • May 2012: start of technical supervision over construction of a series of 4 gas carriers at STX Offshore and Shipbuilding shipyard;
  • September 2012: signing of an agreement on cooperation in gas carrier design with Gas Transport & Technigaz (GTT);
  • September 2012: additional training seminar for RS surveyors in the RS Personnel Training Centre, in the course of which thirty five more RS specialists received theoretical training;
  • November 2012: start of practical training of RS specialists who completed theoretical training on gas carriers at the STX Offshore and Shipbuilding Shipyard. Upon completion of the practical training program 30 more surveyors will join the ranks of RS specialists having knowledge in the area of marine transportation of gas, construction and operation of gas carriers;
  • November 2012: participating in type tests of a new control system for dual fuel low-speed engines (ME-GI) at Hyundai shipyard in Ulsan;
  • December 2012: Approval in Principle of the possibility to use GTT membrane systems for cargo storage for ships of Arc7 ice category for operation in the conditions of Russian Arctic and along the Northern Sea Route.

The potential gained by RS in marine transportation of gas enables it to participate in prospective large-scale gas carrier construction projects. Further dynamic capacity building is a solid basis for strengthening RS positions on the classification services market in the sector of high-tech ships for LNG transportation.


RS, January 31, 2013; Image: Gazprom