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Sovcomflot and RS cooperate to bring new state-of-the-art vessels to Russia’s commercial fleet

Sovcomflot and RS cooperate to bring new state-of-the-art vessels to Russia’s commercial fleet

Sovcomflot (SCF Group) and Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) have both taken steps to make the Russian fleet more competitive.

In 2014, 10 SCF Group vessels were transferred to the RS class, meaning that it is now responsible for the survey of 40 Sovcomflot ships in total. These include the very latest Atlanticmax LNG carriers, multi-purpose icebreaking supply vessels, crude oil tankers, chemical carriers and tugs.

In order to satisfy the increasing requirements of large-scale oil & gas projects on Russia’s continental shelf, Sovcomflot plans to expand its fleet of specialised and technically advanced vessels operating under the flag of the Russian Federation, whilst continuing to develop mutually-beneficial partnerships with Russian Maritime Register of Shipping. At present, SCF’s entire shipbuilding programme is being carried out with the participation of RS.

SCF Group and RS are currently working together on several shipbuilding projects which are technically complex, in light of the difficulty of operating vessels at extremely low temperatures and in regions with challenging climatic conditions.

The new vessels ordered by Sovcomflot to serve Russia’s Yamal LNG project include an ARC7 pilot Arctic ice class LNG carrier. The ship’s technical characteristics and her unique power capacity, comparable with that of a nuclear-powered icebreaker, allow her to transport cargo along the Northern Sea Route. This LNG carrier is planned to enter service in June 2016.

RS is also surveying the construction of another series of unique ARC7 ice class shuttle tankers, with a deadweight of 42,000 tonnes, to operate on the Novoportovsk gas condensate field (the largest field on the Yamal peninsula). These vessels are expected to be completed in 2016.

A series of state-of-the-art icebreaking supply vessels is being constructed at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard (United Shipbuilding Corporation), to work on the north-east of Sakhalin Island. These ships, with the high ‘Icebreaker6’ ice class, will work all year round to ensure safe operations at these oil & gas fields. They will also be employed as part of the technical equipment for drilling platforms, and for icebreaking and rescue operations. This series of vessels also includes a larger supply vessel for production platforms. This will be an upgraded version of the Vitus Bering series of icebreaking supply vessels, which are also part of the SCF Group’s fleet, classed by RS, and which will operate at the Arkutun-Dagi offshore oil field. These new vessels are planned to be completed by 2017. They will work under the flag of the Russian Federation and will be staffed by Russian crews.

SCF Group’s Executive Vice President, Igor Tonkovidov, noted: “Russian Maritime Register of Shipping is the leader in standard-setting for ice class vessels, and our cooperation with them is a vital element of Sovcomflot’s technical management. SCF Group has a fleet of modern and technologically sophisticated ships, equipped to work in extreme climatic conditions. We are dedicated to developing our business, and in doing so to increase the standards of maritime safety, while continuing to provide our charterers with reliable cargo transportation”.

RS Chief Operating Officer, Pavel Shikhov, added: “Expanding our cooperation with SCF Group, in particular during new shipbuilding programmes, is one of RS main priorities. The vessels ordered by Sovcomflot reflect the very latest shipbuilding innovations. Our participation in these projects is not only an acknowledgement of our expertise, but also an opportunity to further develop and gain further advanced experience. Our cooperation with Russia’s largest shipping company is not limited to classification. In 2015, RS will continue to work on the appraisal and certification of SCF Group’s management systems, which began in 2013 with a draft agreement to conduct a diagnostic audit of OOO SCF Arctica. Furthermore, both of our companies place great emphasis on the professional development of our staff, and improving the standard of training that Russian sailors receive.