On 28 December 2018, Russian shipping company Sovcomflot (SCF Group), placed an order at Zvezda shipbuilding complex for construction of three new generation product carriers that use cleaner-burning LNG fuel as their primary fuel.
Three MR-class vessels will have a deadweight (DWT) of 51,000 tonnes each. They will transport petroleum products and gas condensate and will be chartered to Novatek under long-term time charter agreements. Each tanker will have an ice class of 1B, enabling safe operations in areas with challenging ice conditions, including the Baltic.
After ordering four Aframax LNG-fueled tanks in 2017 to the Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries shipyard, to be rented from Shell, in September 2018 the Sovcomflot Group has also ordered two 114,000 DWT LNG-fueled Aframax crude oil tankers from Zvezda shipyard.
Today, the fleet of the company, headquartered in Saint Petersburg, includes 144 vessels (of which 80 have an ice class) with a total deadweight of 12.5 million tonnes.
The Zvezda shipyard is owned by United Shipbuilding Corporation (OCK), the largest shipbuilding company in Russia employing over 80,000 people and including about 40 domestic shipyards, design and ship repair offices. It is located in the city of Bolshoi Kamen, in the far east of Russia, a short distance (about 40 km) from Vladivostok.