Russian shipping company PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) has signed new agreements with Rosneft, Russia's State Transport Leasing Company (STLC) and Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex for the construction of five new Aframax tankers.

The new 114,000dwt vessels will be built by Zvezda in collaboration with Hyundai Heavy Industries, and will be used to transport crude oil and oil products.

The tankers will feature an ice class of 1A/1B to ensure safe operations in regions with challenging ice conditions such as the Baltic Sea and subarctic seas.

SCF will be responsible for operating the tankers and is expected recruit new high-skilled crew members and management to ensure the vessels can operate as safely and effectively as possible.

In addition, the purpose-designed vessels will use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as their primary fuel and will be compliant with upcoming global sulphur oxide (SOx), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and carbon dioxide (CO2) emission standards, which have been set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

The IMO emission standards are currently slated to come into force from 2020.

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The vessels will also be able to meet the emission regulations required to sail in the Baltic and North Seas areas.

"SCF Group is already operating three Rosneft-owned ice-class 30,000dwt tankers, all of them transporting oil and petroleum products across the Baltic Sea and in the Arctic."

SCF specialists collaborated with Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Centre (FESRC) to design the tankers' technical specifications.

Sovcomflot president and CEO Sergey Frank said: “SCF Group is already operating three Rosneft-owned ice-class 30,000dwt tankers (RN Arkhangelsk, RN Murmansk, and RN Privodino), all of them transporting oil and petroleum products across the Baltic Sea and in the Arctic.

“SCF is also involved in crude oil transhipment operations for Rosneft.”

Sovcomflot’s new tankers are expected to enter service by 2021.

Image: First row (left to right): Rosneft Energy, Localization and Innovation vice-president Andrey Shishkin; STLC CEO Sergey Khramagin; Rosnefteflot CEO Oleg Tereschenko; SCF Group president and CEO Sergey Frank.Second row: Rosneft Management Board chairman and CEO Igor Sechin; Russian Federation Transport Deputy Minister and Federal Agency for Marine and River Transport (Rosmorrechflot) head Viktor Olersky. Photo: Courtesy of  PAO Sovcomflot.