On 26 August, the LNG-fueled Aframax crude oil tanker ‘Korolev Prospect’, owned by Russian Sovcomflot, began a transit of the Northern Sea Route (NSR). The ship will become the first such large-capacity crude oil tanker to travel the entire length of the Northern Sea Route using only LNG fuel, the company said.
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.
Today, Sovcomflot has six LNG-fueled 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.
Last October, Sovcomflot’s crude oil tanker ‘Gagarin Prospect’, completed its voyage across the Baltic and North Seas from Primorsk to Rotterdam, becoming the world’s first LNG Aframax crude oil tanker to complete the voyage.
In the same month, the LNG-fueled tanker ‘Lomonosov Prospect’ completed a commercial voyage along the Northern Sea Route (NSR), delivering a cargo of petroleum products from the Republic of Korea to Northern Europe.