Russian maritime shipping company PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) announced that its new liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier has embarked on its first commercial voyage.

Named SCF Timmerman, the carrier is the third in a series of 174,000-cbm Atlanticmax LNG carriers ordered by the company.

The carrier is being run under a long-term time charter agreement with Shell.

The company said that it will be provided with an additional contract backlog worth $165m by Shell.

PAO Sovcomflot president and CEO Igor Tonkovidov said: “SCF Group and Shell enjoy a long-standing, mutually beneficial partnership. Shell is amongst the biggest charterers of SCF’s vessels.

“All projects realised by the two companies over the last five years are distinguished by high levels of environmental safety and the adoption of energy-saving shipping technologies.

“By adding another vessel to our gas fleet and expanding our cooperation with Shell, we contribute to achieving our strategic goals of solidifying our position in LNG shipping and growing our portfolio of long-term, fixed income contracts, which provide SCF with stable cash flows, resistant to freight market fluctuations.”

The company placed the order for Atlanticmax LNG carriers in 2018.

In February 2020, the first carrier SCF La Perouse was delivered to SCF and is time-chartered to Total.

In September the same year, second vessel SCF Barents was delivered to the company. It is also time-chartered to Shell.

The vessels feature the latest technologies in terms of environmental protection, safety, and energy efficiency.

Each LNG carrier is fitted with a slow-speed dual-fuel X-DF engine, an advanced Mark III Flex cargo containment system, and nitrogen oxide emissions moderator system.

Also, all vessels feature a boil-off gas partial re-liquefaction system.