Sovcomflot Christens First Vessel in Series of Ice Class LNG Carriers
On 20 January, a naming ceremony was held for the new state-of-the-art gas carrier Velikiy Novgorod, ordered by Sovcomflot group of companies (SCF) for transportation of LNG for Gazprom group.
The ship will operate under a long-term time-charter agreement with OAO Sovcomflot and will reinforce positions of Gazprom in the world LNG market, as well as strengthen the Russian LNG-tanker fleet.
Velikiy Novgorod is the first vessel in a series of high-tech ice class LNG carriers that has been specially designed in accordance with Gazprom demands.
The second ship of the series, Pskov, is due to be delivered in September, 2014.
This new series of LNG carriers is intended to strengthen the Russian gas giant’s positions on the global energy market.
Tankers in the Velikiy Novgorod series are some of the best vessels in their class. The technical parameters of the vessels are: type – Atlanticmax, capacity approx. 170,200m³, length – 299.9m, width – 45.8m, height – 26m. The tri-fuel diesel-electric propulsion system has been specially adapted for work in the north (Ice2 according to the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping with special hardware for operations in low temperature conditions). This makes the series truly unique. Gas carriers in the Velikiy Novgorod series provide the charterer with one further advantage – they are capable of transporting gas on a year-round basis from practically all existing LNG terminals in the world, including Russia’s first LNG terminal, Sakhalin-2, and the forthcoming Vladivostok-LNG terminal.
The design of the gas-carriers was developed in collaboration with experts from Gazprom, Sovcomflot, the Russian Maritime Register and the United Shipbuilding Company (OAO OSK). It complies with the latest requirements regarding ecological norms, energy-efficiency, working conditions and leisure provision for crews, as well as onboard safety.
The type of cargo system (reinforced membrane structure) is suited to operations in challenging climatic conditions. This has been proven through trials carried out in collaboration with experts from the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping and Krylov State Research Centre.
In implementing the project, due consideration was paid to the interests of Russia’s shipbuilding industry. Provisions were made for the phased localisation of LNG carriers construction at newly-formed shipbuilding facilities in the Russian Federation – first and foremost at the Zvezda yard in the Far East. The first two vessels in the series – Velikiy Novgorod and Pskov – are being built at STX Offshore & Shipbuilding facilities in collaboration with OAO OSK.
“Gazprom gradually implements its strategy in the field of production and supplies of liquefied natural gas. Within this framework we form our own tanker fleet ready to provide the transportation of LNG to any point of the world, as well as along the Northern Sea Route.
Tankers Velikiy Novgorod and Pskov allow Gazprom to increase the volume of trade seriously and reinforce its positions on the global LNG market”, said Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee of Gazprom Alexander Medvedev.
“The expansion of the LNG tanker fleet with the addition of modern, high ice class vessels from the Velikiy Novogorod series marks an important stage in the implementation of the OAO Sovcomflot development strategy, which provides for significant growth in the gas transportation segment subject to the development of new industrial projects in the Russian Arctic. SCF fleet currently has 11 gas carriers. A further three vessels, including sistership of Velikiy Novogorod – LNG carrier Pskov, will be delivered within 2014-2015. Counting these deliveries SCF will be certain leader among the LNG operators of ice class gas carriers.
We are confident that this gas carrier and those to follow in the series will allow Gazprom to strengthen its positions on the global LNG production and supply markets.
The name of the tanker was a common decision with Gazprom. Velikiy Novgorod is one of Russia’s oldest cities with a glorious history going back to the establishment of the Russian State and the start of merchant shipping between Russia and Europe.
We are grateful to our partners for the trust they have placed in us and are pleased to offer them first-class, modern LNG transportation services – guaranteeing reliable, efficient and environmentally safe shipping.” Sergey Frank, President and CEO of Sovcomflot.
Sovcomflot, January 20, 2014