Sofcomflot Launches Five Vessels This Year
Despite a tanker market turndown, Russia’s Sovcomflot was able to strengthen its financial position during the first half of 2016 with net profit adjusted for non-operating revenues decreasing by only 5.8 percent.
The company launched five new vessels during this time pioneering 172,600 m3 capacity ice breaking LNG carrier (Arc7 ice class) for Yamal LNG project (January), three new Arctic shuttle tankers for Novy Port project (February, April, June), and a new ice-breaking supply vessel to serve Sakhalin-2 project (June).
In January 2016, the world’s first Arctic LNG carrier was launched. Ordered by Sovcomflot, this pioneering vessel will transport LNG for the Yamal LNG project. With a cargo capacity of 172,600 m3, the vessel is packed with unique new technical features. She will be of Arc7 ice class (RS classification), with the capability to break ice of up to 2.1 meters (6.9 feet) thick. The propulsion system (45 megawatt) is on a par with Arctic-type ice breakers. The vessel delivery is scheduled for the first quarter of 2017.
Three new 42,000 tons deadweight ice breaking shuttle tankers were launched for the Group in February, April, and June. These arctic vessels will be used to transport crude oil for Gazprom Neft from the Novoportovskoye field on the Yamal Peninsula. Shturman Albanov, the pilot vessel of the series, is expected to take its first shipment of oil from the Arctic Gate offshore terminal on the Ob River estuary to Murmansk in September 2016.
The design of these vessels takes into account the specific features of the waters in the Gulf of Ob, which features points of restricted depth (approximately 10 meters (32 feet)), and is covered with ice from October to July. The three tankers can operate in the Arctic with year-round navigation at temperatures up to minus 45°C and, without assistance, break through ice up to 1.8 meters (5.9 feet) thick.
As part of a long-term agreement with Sakhalin Energy, 30 June 2016 saw a new ice-breaking supply vessel (IBSV) launched for Sovcomflot. This reinforced ice class vessel has a deadweight of 3,000 tons and is due to be delivered later this year.
This IBSV is the first of four ordered by Sovcomflot for operations at the Sakhalin-2 project. The other three are emergency response and rescue vessels (ERRVs), with a smaller deadweight (2,000 tons), but they offer enhanced functionality and can carry more maintenance personnel. The construction of all four vessels began in 2015.
At the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, in June, Sovcomflot and Gazprom Neft signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the supply of marine lubricants. This MOU anticipates the expansion of the existing marine lubricants supply geography and an increase in the number of the Group’s ships using these lubricants to 19 within the next two years.
Currently, Gazprom Neft’s marine lubricants are used on six Sovcomflot tankers, including its Arctic shuttle tankers Kirill Lavrov and Mikhail Ulyanov, which are used to transport oil from the Prirazlomnoye field owned by Gazprom Neft Shelf.
As at June 30, 2016, Sovcomflot’s fleet (including vessels owned, chartered-in, and in joint ownership with third parties) comprised 140 vessels with a combined deadweight of approximately 12.3 million tons. At this time, there were eight vessels under construction (one Arc7 ice-breaking LNG carrier of 172,600 m3 capacity, one multifunctional ice breaking (MIB) supply vessel, three MIB standby vessels, and three ice-class shuttle tankers).