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Russia’s First LNG Bunker Vessel Completes Sea Trials

Russia's first LNG bunker vessel
Russia's first LNG bunker vessel on sea trials (Gazprom Neft)

Published May 31, 2021 4:01 PM by The Maritime Executive

Construction of Russia’s first LNG bunker vessel is proceeding, with the ship recently completing several days of sea trials. To be named, Dmitry Mendeleev, the bunker vessel is now undergoing testing on its loading, storing, and gas transfer systems before commissioning for Gazprom Neft.

“During testing on the open sea, the vessel's high technical characteristics of maneuverability were confirmed, allowing the bunker operator to operate in almost any climatic zone,” said Alexey Medvedev General Director of Gazpromneft Marine Bunker. “In the near future, the necessary gas tests will take place, during which specialists will check the vessel's gas equipment. The commissioning of the bunkering vessel “Dmitry Mendeleev” is scheduled for the second half of 2021.”

The vessel, which is being built by the Keppel Nantong Shipyard in China, is among the mid-sized LNG bunker vessels. It has a capacity of up to 5800 m³ of liquefied natural gas. The ship measures approximately 328 feet in length and has a 62-foot beam. 

Among the features of the design, the hull is reinforced to comply with the Arc4 ice class. That means that it is allowed independent navigation in first-year ice up to 0.8 meters thick. It is also equipped with a digital integrated system so that the vessel can be operated by one person from the navigation bridge.

The Dmitry Mendeleev also uses the latest shipbuilding and LNG transportation technologies, as well as taking into account the advanced environmental requirements for sea transport. The vessel uses the boil-off gas of the transported cargo as fuel for the power plant. The LNG bunkering equipment complies with the international MARPOL convention and is certified according to the ECO-S environmental standard.

Gazprom reported that the vessel was launched in late 2020. During the sea trials, they conducted a series of tests of the main propulsion systems. The functionality and serviceability of the navigation equipment and control systems were verified, and its maneuverability and speed characteristics were confirmed. 

The new vessel will become part of the Gazprom Neft fleet in the second half of 2021 and will provide LNG bunkering in the ports of the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea moving between St. Petersburg, Ust-Luga, Primorsk.