Lomonosov Prospect Sails Northern Sea Route on LNG
Lomonosov Prospect, Sovcomflot's large-capacity tanker using LNG fuel as its primary fuel, successfully completed a commercial voyage along the Northern Sea Route (NSR) on October 30.
The high-latitude voyage from Cape Dezhnev at Chukotka to Cape Zhelaniya of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago took the ice class Arc4 vessel 7.8 days to complete, during which the tanker covered a distance of 2,194 nautical miles. She is delivering a cargo of petroleum products from the Republic of Korea to Northern Europe.
The tanker traveled almost the entire NSR without any icebreaker escort, having covered some 950 nautical miles in ice conditions. She was escorted by Atomflot's nuclear-powered icebreaker Taimyr only when traversing the most navigationally and hydrographically challenging area of the Ayon ice massif in the East Siberian Sea.
The tanker's Master was Dmitry Belozerov, a captain with extensive high-latitude navigation experience. In 2010, Belozerov served as Chief Officer on Sovcomflot's tanker SCF Baltica – the first-ever large-capacity vessel to complete a transit voyage along the NSR. The results obtained during that experimental voyage provided the foundation for developing marine transportation solutions for major industrial projects in the Arctic, such as Yamal LNG and Novy Port.
Lomonosov Prospect was delivered to SCF in October 2018 and has a length of 250m, a breadth of 44m, a deadweight of 114,000 tons and a crew of 22. She is the second in the series of six Aframax tankers designed to operate on LNG as the primary fuel. Earlier this month, the first, Sovcomflot's ice class 1A crude oil tanker, Gagarin Prospect, successfully completed her voyage across the Baltic and North Seas from Primorsk to Rotterdam operating on LNG. The voyage was her first export delivery of Russian crude oil under a long-term time-charter contract between Sovcomflot and Shell. On October 2, the inaugural LNG bunkering of Gagarin Prospect took place at the Port of Rotterdam using the specialized LNG bunker vessel Cardissa.
In September 2018, Sovcomflot placed orders with Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex for a series of two similar LNG-fueled Aframax tankers, both of which will then be time-chartered to Rosneft for 20 years each.