Gas and battery operation were recognised in the Ship of the Year award, which eventually honoured a breakthrough application of LNG fuel in the tanker segment
Gas and battery operation were recognised in the Ship of the Year award, which eventually honoured a breakthrough application of LNG fuel in the tanker segment.
The Ship of the Year award featured some excellent nominations including the first battery-powered cruise ships from Hurtigruten and the first newbuild gas-fuelled container feeder vessels in Europe. The winner was a breakthrough in terms of the size and range of LNG fuel applications in the tanker market – Sovcomflot’s Aframax tanker Gagarin Prospect, delivered in July 2018.
Gagarin Prospect is the world’s first Aframax tanker to use LNG as its primary fuel. The vessel, featuring an Ice-Class 1A hull, was delivered from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and operates on long-term time-charter to Shell.
Gagarin Prospect has pioneered the use of LNG as fuel for large capacity tankers, and those not tied to fixed routes or set timetables. It is the lead ship in a new generation of tankers that is the result of close co-operation between Shell, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Russian shipbuilder Zvezda over three years. The design also draws on Sovcomflot’s experience of operating large tankers in the challenging climatic and ice conditions of Arctic, sub-Arctic and Baltic waters.
The vessel, the first of an order of six by Sovcomflot, is equipped with ice radars and spotlights, ensuring full compliance with the recently introduced Polar Code. Main engines, auxiliaries, and boilers are all capable of using LNG. A low-pressure X-DF dual-fuel engine designed by Winterthur Gas & Diesel minimises the emissions of particulate matter. When not using LNG, a selective catalytic reduction unit enables the vessel to comply with IMO Tier III regulations governing NOx emissions.
Shell’s bunker vessel Cardissa delivered the first ship-to-ship bunkering of LNG to Gagarin Prospect in Rotterdam in October 2018. Later that month it embarked upon its first commercial voyage using LNG fuel, from Primorsk in Russia back to Rotterdam.
Sovcomflot’s pioneering of dual-fuel technology in the large tanker section was welcomed by judges, as was a design that ensures low emissions in both gas and diesel modes.
"We are grateful to all our partners for their dedicated work," said Sovcomflot executive vice president Igor Tonkovidov. "We always believed that shipping is the most efficient mode of transport. But to make the next step while staying commercially efficient makes this prize very special."
Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen by Hurtigruten: Energy-efficient expedition cruise vessels featuring an array of novel technologies including one of the biggest marine battery installations to date and the first in the cruise sector.
Containerships Nord by Containerships and Nordic Hamburg: The first newbuild container ship in Europe to run on LNG overcame significant design obstacles to find space for fuel tanks.