Following the increase of shipping traffic along the Northern Sea Route, Russian SCF Group (Sovcomflot) has called for the government to continue to improve navigational safety measures and to ban substandard ships and crews sailing in the region, which is environmentally fragile.
The issue was posed by President and CEO of SCF Group, Sergey Frank, during a meeting with the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, held on 10 July.
On behalf of the maritime community, Sergey Frank has expressed a hope that the Russian government will maintain the rate at which NSR infrastructure is being improved. This includes consistently developing the navigational and hydrographic support system, boosting the readiness of rescue services, and improving the reliability of navigational and communications aids.
On his turn, Dmitry Medvedev assured Sergey Frank that the Russian government will meet all its commitments pertaining to developing the NSR infrastructure.
Further, Sergey Frank has expressed his conviction that the vulnerability of the Arctic ecosystem requires substandard vessels and vessels manned by inexperienced and poorly qualified crews to be banned from Arctic operations.
In view of this, he assured Dmitry Medvedev that every single Sovcomflot vessel operating along the NSR meets all the international and domestic regulations that apply to the construction, equipment and handling of Arctic vessels.
Sovcomflot pioneers the switch to LNG as a primary fuel for Aframax tankers. This year, the company has placed an order for a series of the first-ever Aframaxes purpose-designed to be run on LNG. Each 114,000-dwt tanker will have an ice class sufficient to ensure a safe year-round transportation of crude oil from regions with challenging ice conditions, including subarctic seas.