2020 Regs Make LNG Bunkers "Most Effective Global Solution" for Future Vessels: Sovcomflot

Thursday August 3, 2017

With the global sulfur cap on marine fuel set to fall to 0.50 percent in 2020, PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) says the most effective global solution for future vessels to comply with the new rules is to switch to using liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkers, the Russian tanker owner has told Ship & Bunker.

"As of 2017, all the vessels owned and operated by SCF Group already comply with international sulfur emissions regulations (revised MARPOL Annex VI) that will come into force in 2020," said SCF Group, adding that this is achieved via the fact its fleet is capable of using compliant fuel once the new regulations come into effect.

"When it comes to future vessels, SCF Group believes the most effective global solution is switching to LNG as an alternate fuel, which allows a reduction of all the necessary kinds of emissions at once."

As Ship & Bunker reported in April, SCF Group, under its joint "Green Funnel" project with Shell Gas & Power (Shell), has placed an order for four 114,000 DWT LNG-powered newbuildings from South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), which are slated for operation beginning in Q3 of 2018.

"As the world's leader in the Aframax tankers, SCF Group is pioneering the conversion of this class of vessel, commonly regarded as the workhorse of the global tanker industry, to LNG as the principal fuel," said SCF Group.

"In April 2017, SCF Group signed a bunkering agreement with Shell for the supply of gas engine fuel for the series of world's first Aframax tankers specially designed to run on LNG."

The group further notes that there are various other local environmental protection regulations being introduced in different regions that also need to be taken into account as part of the compliance picture.

"SCF Group closely follows these developments to be sure it has a fleet of vessels optimised to fully comply with these local regulations to carry company operations in the corresponding regions," the company added.

This is not the first time that SGF Group has publicly declared its support for LNG as marine fuel; as Ship & Bunker previously reported, Sergey Frank, President and CEO of SCF, speaking at Gastech 2017 in Tokyo, called LNG is "a promising fuel" for large-capacity vessels capable of significantly increasing their environmental compatibility and efficiency.