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Environmental protection and energy efficiency

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The Sovcomflot Group fleet meets the highest environmental standards taking into consideration both current and planned practice and requirements.

All new tankers of the Group have an additional class notation confirming their high environmental compatibility. This is further proof of the responsible attitude of PAO Sovcomflot to environmental issues.

The main goals of the Group’s environmental protection policy are to increase the environmental sustainability of the fleet and to ensure the reliable and environmentally safe provision of services related to the shipping of cargo by sea.

Under its Environmental Protection Policy, the Group implements the following measures:

  • environmental monitoring and audit
  • programmes aimed at increasing the competencies and awareness of personnel in relation to environmental protection
  • investment programmes to increase the energy efficiency and environmental safety of its main activities
  • environmental risk management programmes, which include risk identification and assessment, the implementation of environmental protection measures, and monitoring and assessing their adequacy.

Sovcomflot Group has in place an environmental management system, which was established in accordance with the principles, goals and objectives of its Environmental Protection Policy. The system encompasses the activity of all employees of the Group’s structural units, from ships’ crews to senior management.

Consumption of energy and energy efficiency

Different types of marine fuel are the main types of energy resources consumed in the production activities of the Group.

At the end of 2017, gas fuel accounted for 5.7 % of the total ship fuel consumed.

Sovcomflot Group is actively engaged in work to implement a state programme for introducing gas engine fuel in the transport sector. The Group’s fleet includes five gas carries equipped with engines able to use LNG fuel.

The Group’s new generation of vessels under construction, the world’s first Aframax tankers specially designed to run on LNG, will facilitate a major contribution towards environmental protection. The tankers’ main engines, auxiliaries, and boilers will be dual fuel - conventional fuel (HFO/DO/MGO) and liquefied natural gas. In addition, these vessels will be fitted with Selective Catalytic Reduction technology to comply with Tier III regulations governing NOx emissions (Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships) when operating in gasoil fuel mode.

The advantages of LNG operation are most evident in figures: emissions reduction of sulphur oxides and black carbon reach 100 %, nitrogen oxides emissions decrease by 76 %, and carbon dioxide emissions — by 27 % as compared with power plants running on conventional heavy fuel.

Atmospheric emissions from an LNG-fuelled power plant, tonnes per year

Energy efficiency initiatives

Sovcomflot Group recognises that reducing energy consumption is crucial to minimising adverse environmental impacts. Accordingly, the Group has developed and implemented an Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency Programme, aimed at promoting the efficient use of fuel and energy resources and improving the environmental sustainability of the fleet.

Energy audits are conducted regularly on the Group’s ships. These make it possible to obtain reliable information on the consumption of fuel and oil and the energy efficiency of a ship’s engines and boilers, identifying opportunities for energy conservation, and increasing the energy and environmental performance of a ship’s power plants.

During 2017 Sovcomflot Group continued to implement a number of organisational and technical measures to promote efficient use of fuel and energy resources and improve the environmental sustainability of the fleet:

  • applying slow steaming on ships, to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The results show that operating vessels at low speeds (7-9 knots) with the main engine loads less than 40% of MCR increases their energy efficiency and environmental compatibility
  • determining and applying the optimal pitch angle for each vessel during its ballast voyage, to minimise the fuel consumption of the main engine. The optimal trim was determined for each series of vessels by conducting thermal tests at various pitch angles. This measure has been used on the Group’s ships since 2009
  • establishing an energy conservation culture on ships
  • monitoring and optimising energy consumption for heating and ventilation in the ship’s living quarters
  • optimising the power output in navigation and harbour modes
  • checking fuel and oil consumption meters on ships
  • monitoring the state of the hull and ensuring its timely cleaning. The main engine propeller characteristics are also monitored. The speed of the ship relative to land and water, weather conditions, and propeller slip are controlled daily. In some cases, underwater images are taken to evaluate hull fouling
  • determining the readiness of the ship’s power plant depending on the harbour accommodation and requiring a minimum number of mechanisms working (instant readiness and readiness at a given time)
  • ensuring that the main engine cylinder lubrication level is not higher than the recommended level
  • using innovative low-friction coatings for paining the hull to increase the inter-docking period, reduce the hull fouling and eliminate the need for underwater hull cleaning between dockings
  • placing light sources (local lighting, spot lighting) in an optimal way. Increasing the light output of existing sources (replacing lampshades, cleaning them) using more efficient reflectors. Using lighting control devices (motion sensors, light sensors, timers)