On 26 August 2019 Korolev Prospect, Sovcomflot’s (SCF) LNG-powered 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 this route using only cleaner-burning LNG fuel. The tanker is delivering a cargo of crude oil from the Russian 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.
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-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 tons, a length of 250 meters, breadth of 44 meters, and an ice class of 1A hull.