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Gazprom Neft and Sovcomflot have signed an agreement that will see the companies collaborate on improving efficiency in Russian-Arctic maritime logistics – and will involve the deployment of low-carbon marine fuels and digital technologies.

As per the collaboration agreement, which was signed at this year’s Eastern Economic Forum, Gazprom Neft and Sovcomflot have committed to testing ‘promising environmentally friendly fuels’ – including LNG, hydrogen, ammonia and methanol - on Sovcomflot’s existing tankers.

Russia’s first LNG-bunkering vessel, the Gazprom Neft-owned Dmitry Mendeleev, is also expected to be deployed in refuelling ships with natural gas.

In addition to low-carbon marine fuels, the companies are to expand their use of digital technologies in Arctic maritime logistics management.

Sovcomflot vessels, responsible for ensuring continuous year-round shipments of Arctic crudes from the Prirazlomnoye and Novoportovskoye fields, are now connected to the world’s first Arctic logistics management system – the ‘Kapitan’ system, developed by specialists at Gazprom Neft. According to Gazprom Neft, this digital navigation platform has helped cut specific transportation costs by up to 12% by selecting optimum routes, saving fuel, reducing icebreaker escort costs, and reducing empty-vessel downtime.

‘Sovcomflot is Gazprom Neft’s main maritime-logistics partner. Vessels owned by Russia’s largest commercial shipping operator transport more than eight million tonnes of Gazprom Neft Arctic blends every year,’ said Alexander Dyukov, Chairman of the Management Board, Gazprom Neft.

‘We are, already, using digital solutions in working with Sovcomflot and, under this new agreement, will be continuing to develop technologies together. Added to which, our plans to use liquid natural gas and other environmentally friendly fuels in refuelling vessels is going to ensure still greater environmental friendliness in Arctic shipping.’

As Bunkerspot reported yesterday (2 September), earlier this week, a keel laying ceremony for a dual fuelled 51,000 DWT MR gas carrier, ordered by Sovcomflot, was held at the Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex in Primorsky, Russia.

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