Russia’s first cargo and passenger ship-to-ship LNG-bunkering vessel has been set afloat — shipyard specialists having completed the main stage in the vessel’s construction, including assembling the hull and installing LNG fuel tanks and other auxiliary systems, in record time. The vessel has been moved to dock for final installation of navigation systems and controls, and installation of key equipment rooms. Sea trials are planned for spring 2021.
The LNG-bunkering vessel, named in honour of the great Russian chemist and researcher Dmitry Mendeleev, will join Gazprom Neft’s fleet in the second half of 2021. This new vessel will provide transportation and bunkering of low-tonnage LNG fuel at ports in the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea — including St Petersburg, Ust-Luga and Primorsk.
Designing the Gazprom Neft LNG-bunkering vessel has involved cutting-edge shipbuilding and LNG storage and transportation technologies, with equipment being fully compliant with international MARPOL Convention standards and ECO-S environmental certification. The vessel has been designed on the basis of “zero emissions”, with its propulsion system fuelled by LNG stripping-gas.
The vessel is 100 metres in length, 19 metres wide, and can transport up to 5,800 m3 of liquid natural gas. Its Arc4 ice-class reinforced hull means it can navigate one-year-old ice of up to 80 cm thick independently, while its integrated digital system means it can be controlled by just one crew member, directly from the navigation bridge.
“Its environmental and performance characteristics are going to see liquid natural gas becoming one of the main motor fuels in the medium term, in considerable demand in international shipping. Our company was the first in Russia to initiate a project on building a LNG-powered vessel for bunkering. This is a key stage in developing domestic eco-friendly shipping. Completing the construction and commissioning of our own high-tech LNG-bunkering vessel next year will mark another major step forward here.”Anatoly Cherner Deputy CEO for Logistics, Processing and Sales, Gazprom Neft
* “Ship-to-ship” bunkering involves ships being refueled directly from the deck of a specialist bunkering vessel. This technology means bunkering can be undertaken when ships are moored or docked at a pier.
Liquified natural gas (LNG) consists mainly of methane, artificially liquefied by cooling to −160°C — at which point the volume of gas is reduced