On 26 August 2019 Korolev Prospect, Sovcomflot’s LNG-fuelled Aframax crude oil tanker, began a transit of the Northern Sea Route (NSR). She will become the first such large-capacity crude oil tanker to travel the entire length of the Northern Sea Route using only cleaner-burning LNG fuel.
The tanker is delivering a cargo of crude oil from the port of Murmansk to China. The journey along the NSR, from Cape Zhelaniya to Cape Dezhnev, will take about eight days, with vessel moving at the expected average speed of 12 knots.
While transiting from the Laptev Sea to the East Siberian Sea, the vessel will follow the ‘Tikhonov’ deep-water route that lies north of the New Siberian Islands, which was first opened for commercial shipping in 2011 by SCF’s tanker Vladimir Tikhonov.
The crew of Korolev Prospect includes Vasily Yermakov, one of the most experienced ice captains in SCF’s fleet, who acts as an ice adviser for this voyage.
Compared with standard marine fuels, vessels using LNG fuel achieve a significant reduction in vessel emissions whilst also improving the ship’s energy efficiency.
Today, Sovcomflot has six LNG-fuelled crude oil tankers in operation, including Korolev Prospect, and five more under construction. Korolev Prospect, delivered in February 2019, has a deadweight of 113,232 tonnes, a length of 250 metres, breadth of 44 metres, and an ice-class of 1A hull.