Russia: Sovcomflot Launches First of Two VLCC Tankers
On 5 May, 2013, the first of two Very Large Crude Carrier tankers (VLCC) ordered by Sovcomflot Group was successfully launched. SCF is a world leader in the product carrier segment, as well as in the Aframax and Suezmax oil tanker segments.
In line with the SCF development strategy, the construction of the two new tankers – Svet and SCF Shanghai – will allow the company to break into a new large tonnage segment employing VLCC tankers (deadweight over 300,000 tonnes). Vessels of this class will fit seamlessly into the Russian shipping company’s fleet and will help improve SCF Group’s competitive advantage on the global tanker market.
Both VLCC tankers under construction are intended for crude oil shipping operations under long-term time charter agreements with PetroChina International (a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation). In December, 2011, the companies signed agreements providing for the transportation of oil from countries in the Middle East, West Africa and Venezuela to China using the SCF tanker fleet.
Svet is due to enter into active service in autumn 2013. OAO Novoship (part of SCF Group) will take charge of the tankers’ technical management and oversee their construction. At present, it is not possible to build vessels of this class in Russia.
The new VLCC vessel has been named in honour of Russia’s first oil tanker Svet (deadweight: 1,700 tonnes). She was built in 1885 and was ordered by the Nobel Brothers company for the export shipping of oil and kerosene across the Black Sea from Baku. The tanker was 89.5m long and 11.6m wide, her sailing rig was 240m² and she travelled at a maximum speed of 7.5 knots. The crew of the first Black Sea tanker consisted of 50 sailors. By becoming the first tanker in Russian history, Svet laid the foundations for many of the traditions kept by the country’s merchant fleet.
SCF Group, May 14, 2013