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Key equipment installed on Gazprom Neft’s future LNG bunker

Construction of Russia’s first LNG bunkering vessel is now in its final stage, with Gazprom Neft having now completed its installation of tanks and other cryogenic equipment for liquid natural gas (LNG) transportation and storage. This high-tech vessel will be providing environmentally-friendly NGV-fuel transportation and bunkering services for clients at major ports throughout the Baltic Sea — in St Petersburg, Ust-Luga, Primorsk and elsewhere. Using LNG to develop its bunkering-fuels line is front of mind for Gazprom Neft, the company having initiated the deployment of international standard in LNG bunkering for Russian shipping in 2018.

Construction works on Gazprom Neft’s LNG bunkering vessel have involved the installation of two cargo tanks, each with a capacity of 2,900 cubic metres — this high-tech equipment having been manufactured using a nickel—iron-based alloy, with high durability and resistance to ultra-low temperatures, thanks to which fuel tank circuits mean liquefied natural gas can be stored safely at temperatures as low as −165°С. Special reinforcing props attached to the hull structure in the cargo holds had to be used to install the tanks.

The LNG bunkering vessel has also been fitted with cryogenic equipment — including pumps and piping for loading and discharging LNG, and a fuel-tank cooling system.* In line with planned scheduling, the next stage in building the LNG bunkering vessel will be the installation of the cargo deck, while pipe-fitting and installation of cargo handling equipment remain ongoing.

“The best international technologies — both in shipbuilding and in LNG storage and transportation — are being used on Russia’s first LNG bunkering project. Seventy percent of key construction works are now complete: the ship’s hull has been assembled, and energy facilities have been installed, as have fuel tanks. The next stage is going to be launching Gazprom Neft’s LNG bunker at sea.”
Alexei Medvedev
Alexei Medvedev Director General, Gazpromneft-Marine Bunker
Notes for editors

Gazprom Neft’s bunkering vessel is the first in the Russian Federation able to undertake ship-to-ship (deck-to-deck) bunkering of liquid natural gas (LNG). The vessel is 100 metres in length, and 19 metres wide. With a 5,800 square-metre cargo capacity the average time for refuelling client vessels is likely to be around eight hours. Being an Arc4 ice-class vessel the LNG bunkering barge will be able to navigate one-year-old ice (of up to 80 cm thick) independently. The vessel has been designed for “zero emissions”), with its engine being fuelled by LNG stripping-gas.

LNG consists mainly of methane, artificially liquefied by cooling to −160°C — at which point the volume of gas is reduced 600-fold, for convenience in storage and transportation. The ecological and economic benefits of LNG mean it is increasingly used as marine fuel instead of traditional fuels.

*Fuel-tank cooling is the process whereby cryogenic system components are pre-cooled to the required temperature for LNG storage.