Sovcomflot takes part in ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ 5th International Arctic Forum


A delegation from Sovcomflot headed by Sergey Frank, President & CEO, took part in the ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ 5th International Forum held in St. Petersburg on 9-10 April 2019.

The forum agenda covered a wide range of issues relating to the Arctic with a focus on economic development of the region, which was reflected in the central theme of the forum, ‘The Arctic: An Ocean of Opportunity.’

Special attention was paid to environmental issues. Speaking at the plenary session of the forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that Russia carries out its projects in the Arctic based on the latest environmental standards, and promoting sustainable technologies for industry, transport, and energy is vital for the Arctic development.

During the panel discussions, significant attention was also paid to a array of issues related to transportation activities in the Arctic Sea Basin.

Sergey Frank delivered a report at one of the major sessions, ‘The Northern Sea Route as the Key to the Development of the Russian Arctic’. The session also included speeches by: Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Maxim Akimov; Ambassador for Arctic Affairs of the Republic of Korea Park Heung-kyeong, Russian Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic Alexander Kozlov; Chairman & CEO of Novatek Leonid Mikhelson; CEO of Rosatom Alexey Likhachev, and governors of several Russian regions located in the Arctic.

In his speech, Sergey Frank stressed the importance of paying close attention to navigational safety and environmental protection while implementing oil & gas and transportation in the Arctic.

'We should not take liberties with the Arctic, making mistakes in this region is unacceptable. It is paramount that the pace of development of navigational safety features for which the government match the speed with which cargo traffic and shipping traffic along the Northern Sea Route grows,' said Sergey Frank. 

Talking about the scale of the forthcoming work to develop natural resources of the Russian Arctic, Sergey Frank stressed that Sovcomflot has a vast successful experience working with Russian oil & gas companies on large-scale energy projects in high latitudes, which is evidence of the real possibility to achieve the goal set by the Russian government of increasing cargo traffic along high-latitude routes within the given time frame. This experience was gained while working on large-scale energy projects in high latitudes; primarily two projects operated on the Yamal Peninsula (Yamal LNG by Novatek and Novy Port by Gazprom Neft), as well several projects operated in the Barents and Pechora Seas (Prirazlomnoye by Gazprom Neft and Varandey by Lukoil).

It was the efforts of many generations of Russian sailors, engineers, shipbuilders, and explorers that laid the foundation for further successful development of the Northern Sea Route as a transport corridor, emphasized Sergey Frank.

To intensify vessel traffic along the Northern Sea Route, the top priority is to enable year-round navigation in the Eastern sector of the Arctic, stressed Mr. Frank. Meeting this challenge requires an integrated approach to further improvement of relevant infrastructure, icebreaking support, navigation systems, and maps.

Introduction of innovative technical solutions and digital technologies will help improve the efficiency of vessel operations in the Arctic, believes Sergey Frank.

“LNG fuel has a good potential for being adopted as a primary fuel for cargo vessels operating in the Arctic. Sovcomflot was among the very first in the world to introduce LNG fuel for large-capacity tankers. The company already operates five LNG-powered ice-class Aframax oil tankers, 114,000-dwt each. In October 2018, one of these vessels, Lomonosov Prospect, successfully completed transit voyage along the Northern Sea Route during her maiden commercial voyage from Asia to Europe,” said Sergey Frank.

During the forum, two Sovcomflot tankers of the ‘Green Funnel’ series, Lomonosov Prospect and Mendeleev Prospect, were being loaded at the ports of the Leningrad region, Ust-Luga and Primorsk, and were open for visiting to forum attendees.

Sergey Frank also shared Sovcomflot's experience in integrating digital technologies in the fleet management to improve the safety of ice navigation.

“In 2018, the company established Marine Operations Centre in St. Petersburg to oversee the Arctic fleet, one of the very first such facilities across the industry. It has state-of-the-art equipment installed and is staffed with professionals of top qualification that has a vast volume of accumulated data at their disposal. This facility helps Sovcomflot to control the quality and safety of its Arctic fleet operations in real time, readily monitor the performance of vessel systems and machinery, and find the most effective solutions for navigational challenges. This is especially important for allow fleet operations remain uninterrupted even in the most remote parts of the Arctic,” said Mr. Frank.

During the forum, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Maxim Akimov and Russia’s Minister for Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin paid working visits to the head office of Sovcomflot in Saint Petersburg, with a tour of SCF’s Marine Operations Centre, Training Centre, and Engineering Centre included in each visit.

On the first day of the forum, two more reports were delivered to forum attendees By Sovcomflot managers, Senior Executive Vice President Evgeny Ambrosov at the ‘Arctic Shelf Development: the Potential and the Risks’ session, and Executive Vice President, CTO & COO Igor Tonkovidov at the ‘Future Arctic: Sustainable Solutions’ session.

SCF Press Office

Sovcomflot (SCF Group) is one of the world's leading energy shipping companies, specialising in the transportation of crude oil, petroleum products, and liquefied gas, as well as the servicing of offshore oil and gas exploration and production. The company’s fleet includes 146 vessels with a total deadweight of over 12.7 million tonnes. Over 80 vessels have an ice class.

Sovcomflot is involved in servicing large oil and gas projects in Russia and around the world: Sakhalin-1; Sakhalin-2; Varandey; Prirazlomnoye; Novy Port; Yamal LNG, and Tangguh (Indonesia). The company is headquartered in Saint Petersburg, with offices in Moscow, Novorossiysk, Murmansk, Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, London, Limassol, and Dubai.