Despite a volatile energy shipping market, Russian shipowner PAO Sovcomflot reported a 10% increase in time charter revenues from gas and offshore operations, to US$342M for H1 2020
Sovcomflot (SCF) president and chief executive Igor Tonkovidov said the group achieved a record US$12.8Bn in future contracted earnings and receivables for the period ending 30 June 2020.
“SCF Group has achieved its operating and financial targets for the reporting period,” said Mr Tonkovidov. “For the first time in SCF Group’s history, EBITDA over the prior 12 months has exceeded US$1Bn.”
This was due, he said, to “an optimal balance of long- and short-term charter contracts, [which] together with a rational geographic distribution of vessels, allowed SCF group to fully capitalise on the freight market upswing.”
Overall, SCF reported US$951.3M in revenue for H1 2020, a 19.8% increase over the same period in 2019, while more than doubling its net profit from a year earlier to US$226.4M, up from US$91M. This was despite a volatile energy shipping market that was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the low-oil price environment.
“SCF Group has taken timely measures to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic from significantly affecting its operations,” said Mr Tonkovidov. He continued: “We have ensured the health of our employees is protected, both at sea and onshore. Through digital transformation, SCF Group was able to maintain the stability of fleet operations and the continuity of our business processes during this difficult period. Further, the group began implementing a large-scale programme to train crews for the new generation of Arctic LNG carriers, scheduled for delivery from 2023.”
SCF achieved several operational milestones in H1 2020, among which was the icebreaking LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie becoming the first large-capacity cargo vessel to transit the full length of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) eastbound in May, two months earlier than previously achieved.
SCF Group also expanded its fleet, taking delivery of SCF La Perouse, a 174,000-m3 Atlanticmax LNG carrier, time chartered to France’s Total. SCF has two further vessels in this series under construction, time chartered to Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell and scheduled for delivery in 2020. These LNG carriers are fitted with an upgraded Mark III Flex cargo containment system from GTT and dual-fuel WinGD low-pressure, Otto-cycle X-DF engines.
Smart LNG, a joint venture between SCF and Russian independent gas company Novatek, ordered four Arc7 icebreaking LNG carriers for the Arctic LNG-2 project from Russia’s Zvezda Shipyard and its technology partner, South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), with financing provided by VEB.RF. This order has since been expanded to a more ambitious 14 vessels.
Using LNG as a fuel, SCF’s series of ‘Green Funnel’ Aframax crude oil tankers were able to reduce CO2 emissions by 14,229 tonnes, as compared with similar vessels powered by diesel oil over the reporting period.