Russian maritime shipping firm PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) has secured a $110m loan for financing two new ice-class shuttle tankers.

This ten-year credit facility has been signed with three global banks, namely ING Bank NV, SMBC Bank EU and UniCredit Bank.

With the delivery slated for Q1 2022, the new vessels will be deployed for the Sakhalin-1 project, which will be executed on the north-eastern shelf of Sakhalin Island in Russia.

Operated by Exxon Neftegaz, this international project is also witnessing the involvement of a consortium comprising Russia’s Rosneft, India’s ONGC Videsh and Japan’s SODECO.

Exxon Neftegas will be the charterer for the new ships.

The ice-class shuttle tankers will be designed in line with the latest environmental requirements.

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Compared with previous generations of shuttle tankers, these fuel-efficient ships will emit at least 10% less carbon.

Sovcomflot executive vice-president and CFO Nikolay Kolesnikov said: “We are also pleased that this financing reflected the Poseidon Principles, an initiative by the banking community allowing control of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of their shipping portfolios and aimed at decarbonisation of the shipping industry.

“This new loan agreement demonstrates the high level of interest and support of international lenders to SCF Group, as well as the company’s uninterrupted access to diversified sources of capital amid the market cyclicality. The completion of this project credit facility allows us to address in full funding requirements for new vessel deliveries in 2022.”

After receiving the ships, the company will add over $300m in value to its contract backlog.

The company has been working on the Sakhalin-1 project since 2006.

Currently, seven SCF Group ships are providing services for the project, including five Aframax shuttle tankers of 1C ice class and two icebreaking supply ships of Icebreaker ICE-10 ice class.

In January, SCF Group’s new liquefied natural gas carrier embarked on its first commercial voyage.