Shell to charter SCF gas-fuelled Aframaxes

Shell will charter and supply LNG fuel to two dual-fuelled Aframax tankers being built for SCF Group Shell will charter and supply LNG fuel to two dual-fuelled Aframax tankers being built for SCF Group

SCF Group has signed time-charter agreements with Shell for two dual-fuelled Aframax tankers.

The tankers are part of a series of six such vessels under construction as part of the tanker company’s Green Funnel series. The vessels, which will be built at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and delivered from Q3 2018, will be on time charter to Shell for up to 10 years, with a minimum commitment of five years. The companies hailed the deal – involving what will be the biggest tankers ever to be powered by LNG – as “a historic turning point that sets new environmental standards for the global tanker industry”.

Evgeny Ambrosov, senior executive vice president, SCF Group, said: “Together, SCF Group and Shell are leading the development and adoption of LNG as a fuel within the tanker industry, committed to significantly reducing the environmental footprint of energy shipping.”

Ambrosov noted that the parties would feedback experience of operating the 114,000dwt tankers, to the Zvezda shipbuilding complex, the Russian yard which is aiming to build large-capacity LNG-fuelled tankers by 2021.

The vessels will use Shell’s specialised LNG bunker vessels for fuelling in North West Europe. Shell will provide further supply points across North West Europe and the Baltic as it expands its LNG fuelling infrastructure.

Mark Quartermain, vice president, Shell Crude Trading, added: “LNG fuel will play a fundamental role in the future energy mix. Chartering and fuelling these vessels highlights Shell’s commitment to LNG as emissions standards tighten. We look forward to continuing to build upon our strong relationship with SCF to support our trading operations in key areas.”

The new contracts follow an LNG fuel supply agreement between Shell and Sovcomflot concluded in 2017, which pioneered the expansion of LNG bunkering in the tanker industry and more widely for vessels not tied to fixed routes or timetables.

The technical specifications of new vessels, which will feature ice class 1A hulls, were developed by SCF Group with involvement from Hyundai Heavy Industries and Russia’s Zvezda shipbuilding complex. The designs draws on SCF’s experience of operating large-capacity tankers in Arctic and sub-Arctic seas, as well as the Baltic.

According to SCF, total carbon emissions can be reduced by 27% using LNG fuel, with sulphur and particulate emissions eliminated and nitrous oxide emissions down 85%. Main engines, auxiliaries, and boilers will all be dual-fuel, while the vessels will also be fitted with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology to comply with Tier III NOX regulations when in diesel mode.

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