Sovcomflot gets funds for construction of Arctic shuttle tanker

Russian shipping company Sovcomflot and Sberbank have signed a new $106 million project financing agreement to finance the construction of a shuttle tanker which will be used for the Novy Port project. 

The shipping company informed on  Monday that the agreement, with a term of up to 14 years, will finance the construction of a high ice class Arctic shuttle tanker (Arc7) for the Novy Port project, under a long-term agreement with Gazprom Neft.

Sovcomflot noted that this was the third major transaction of its kind between Sberbank and Sovcomflot. The first joint project between the companies was in 2015, to finance the construction of three Arctic shuttle tankers to transport crude oil from the Novy Port field.

Nikolay Kolesnikov, Executive Vice President and CFO of PAO Sovcomflot, noted: “Today, Sberbank is among the largest financial partners of Sovcomflot, which reflects the growing role of the Russian banking sector as a source of finance to the shipping industry. This financing agreement will enhance the group’s long-term liquidity position, and will enable us to meet the capital requirements of our current shipbuilding program.”

Igor Bulantsev, Senior Vice President of Sberbank, Head of Sberbank CIB, said: “Investment in significant projects that fund the development of a modern infrastructure continues to be a priority for the bank.

“We are positive about the prospects for lending to the shipbuilding industry and look forward to the continuation and further development of the relationship between our companies.”

Development of the Novoportovskoye field on the Yamal Peninsula is one of Gazprom Neft’s strategic projects. The Novy Port is operated by Gazprom Neft-Yamal LLC.

Due to the shallow waters around the coast, together with constant alluvial currents, siting the terminal onshore proved impossible. Ultimately, the choice was made in favor of an offshore single-point mooring, 3.5 kilometers from the shore, where very large crude tankers can be loaded safely.

Until May 2016, oil was loaded onto tankers from onshore infrastructure, using temporary lines. Today, shipments are undertaken all year round from the Arctic Gates oil loading terminal.

Namely, the challenge of shipping oil from the field was resolved with a route for the year-round transportation of crude by tankers, supported by nuclear icebreakers. For this purpose, a special fleet has been created to service the Novy Port project, with new support icebreakers and Arctic-class tankers, able to overcome ice up to 1.8 meters thick.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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