Sovcomflot completes first phase of Green Funnel tanker haul



Russian shipowner Sovcomflot (SCF Group) has delivered its sixth dual-fuelled aframax tanker to the vessel’s long-term charterer, Shell, as it moves on to the next phase of the company’s Green Funnel newbuilding plan.

Michael Samuel — great-grandson of Sir Marcus Samuel who founded Shell Transport & Trading Co in 1897 — was on hand to see the 114,000-dwt Samuel Prospect named at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries last week.

The Samuel Prospect is time-chartered to Shell for up to 10 years, together with the first ship in the series of six ice-class 1A tankers, the Gagarin Prospect, which was delivered last July.

This sixth newbuilding in the initial order series was delivered on Tuesday and is expected to depart for northern Europe shortly.

“We plan to continue gradually switching our conventional tanker fleet away from traditional heavy fuel oil to LNG bunkers,” a Sovcomflot spokesman said.

“As more LNG bunkering options become available worldwide, we plan to introduce LNG fuel across other tanker classes in our fleet, depending on their trade patterns.”

Sovcomflot has five further LNG-fuelled tankers on order.

The company is building two more Green Funnel design aframax tankers for charter to Russia’s Rosneft.

In addition, Sovcomflot is constructing three dual-fuel 51,000-dwt MR tankers with ice-class 1B. All three ships are backed by charters with Russian energy company Novatek.

All five vessels are being constructed at the Zvezda Shipbuilding complex in Russia.

The time frame for their deliveries has yet to be disclosed.