LNG-Powered Tanker Completes Transit of Northern Sea Route

Lomonosov Prospect northern sea route
The LNG-powered Lomonosov Prospect in the Northern Sea Route. Photo: SCF Group

The LNG-fueled Aframax tanker Lomonosov Prospect has successfully completed its first commercial voyage along the Northern Sea Route (NSR) to deliver a cargo of oil from the Republic of Korea to Northern Europe.

The voyage across the NSR took the Arc4 ice-class vessel 7.8 days to complete, during which the tanker covered a distance of 2,194 nautical miles, finishing on October 30. The vessel is now proceeding towards her destination port in Rotterdam.

During the voyage, the crew tested the operation of the ship engines and control of the fuel systems using LNG, as well as the operation of navigation equipment and machinery in ice conditions and sub-zero temperatures.

Lomonosov Prospect is second in a series of six LNG-fueled Aframax tankers for the Russian shipping company Sovcomflot (SCF). Earlier this month, Lomonosov Prospect’s sister vessel, Gagarin Prospect, delivered its first commercial cargo of crude oil from Primorsk, Russia to Rotterdam for Royal Dutch Shell. 

“Sovcomflot’s ‘Green Funnel’ Aframax tankers set a new standard of navigation safety and quality for the global shipping industry, as switching to cleaner-burning LNG fuel allows to significantly reduce the impact on the natural environment,” SCF said. “This is particularly important for ships in high-traffic areas such as the Baltic and North Seas where these ‘Green Funnel’ tankers will primarily operate.”

lng tanker northern sea route
Photo: SCF Group

According to SCF, the Lomonosov Prospect travelled almost the entire Northern Sea Route without any icebreaker escort, covering some 950 nautical miles in ice conditions. She was escorted by Atomflot’s nuclear-powered icebreaker Taimyr only when traversing the part of the East Siberian Sea that is considered most challenging.

Lomonosov Prospect’s Master is Dmitry Belozerov, who has extensive high-latitude navigation experience, plus an additional ice pilot. In 2010, Belozerov served as Chief Officer on Sovcomflot’s tanker SCF Baltica – the first-ever large-capacity vessel to complete a transit voyage along the NSR.

The 114,000 dwt Lomonosov Prospect was delivered to SCF in October 2018 and has a length of 250 meters and a breadth of 44 meters.