As Russia expands it tanker trades, it is making a concerted effort to finance and construct its oil and gas exports infrastructure outside the influence of US sanctions.
The latest stage took place on 12 September 2018 during the 4th Eastern Economic Forum, when a signing ceremony was held for a trilateral agreement on co-operation between Sovcomflot (aka SCF Group), the Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank) and VEB Leasing.
The document was signed by PAO Sovcomflot president and chief executive Sergey Frank and Vnesheconombank chairman Igor Shuvalov.
The agreement underscores the willingness of the parties to jointly participate in implementating shipbuilding projects at Russian shipyards and import substitution projects, based on the experience accumulated by Sovcomflot constructing various state-of-the-art vessels at domestic shipyards.
The agreement provides for the possibility of financial support for implementing innovative and advanced technologies, as well as improvements to the energy efficiency of vessels built at domestic shipyards.
The companies involved have a successful experience of co-operation in constructing two Arctic shuttle tankers (Mikhail Ulyanov and Kirill Lavrov) built to order for Sovcomflot Group, at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg, which are operated under the national flag of the Russian Federation within the Prirazlomnoye offshore project operated by Gazprom Neft.
Currently, the Russian-owned Arctech Helsinki Shipyard is constructing a fully winterised year-round Arctic-class 44,000-dwt tanker. In April 2018, Sovcomflot signed off the financing of six LNG-powered Aframax tankers by international banks, which was agreed before the latest downturn in US – Russia relations.
Business, operational and technical issues impacting the crude, product and chemical tanker trades will be discussed in London at the Tanker Shipping & Trade Conference, Awards & Exhibition, 20-21 November 2018.