CEO and President of Sovcomflot Sergey Frank led a delegation from the company in taking part in the fifth international forum ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ in April 2019. The forum took place over two days in St Petersburg and featured a wide range of issues on the agenda, with a central focus on economic development in the Arctic region under the theme ‘An Ocean of Opportunity’. Victor Olerskiy is a member of the board of directors of Sovcomflot.
Environmental issues were given special attention at the forum, at which the President of Russia Vladimir Putin spoke. In his speech at the plenary session, Putin emphasised the highest of environmental standards adopted by Russia in all projects and operations in the Arctic region, as well as promoting the use of sustainable technologies for Arctic development across the energy, industry and transport sectors. Some details about the fifth International Arctic Forum in figures can be viewed in the embedded infographic.
Environmental Protection and Navigational Safety
The two key issues stressed by Sergey Frank in his speech to the delegates were environmental protection and navigational safety. Frank spoke of the importance of operators in the region paying close attention to these two issues while implementing transportation, oil and gas projects.
As the Northern Sea Route develops as a marine transport link, it is paramount that navigational safety features are developed at a pace which matches the increasing flow of both shipping and cargo traffic along the route. Sovcomflot has vast experience of working on large-scale projects with Russian oil and gas companies, particularly in high latitudes, stated Frank.
Digital technologies and innovative technical solutions are now being explored by Sovcomflot to improve operations in several key areas, including efficiency, infrastructure, navigation systems and maps, ice-breaking support and safety. An overview of ice-breaking vessels can be viewed in the embedded short video.
The forum hosted the signing of 45 agreements regarding Arctic shipping, with a total deal value of 69.8 billion roubles. These included the signing of investment contracts for activities in the Arctic region, such as the construction of a lead-zinc ore deposit mining and processing plant and reconfiguration of Kola MMC’s production facilities. There were also various cooperation agreements signed between parties, including one between Sovcomflot and the Russian Federation’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Further subjects of agreements signed at the forum involved scientific research and development activity, preservation of the natural diversity of the Arctic region, and projects to fund and support social, environmental, educational and sports programmes and support for indigenous people. In the PDF attachment, you can learn more about the indigenous people of the Arctic region.
Sovcomflot is the largest shipping company operating from the Russian Federation, specialising in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and petroleum shipping. The company is 100% state-owned and has headquarters in St Petersburg.
The corporation as it is today was founded in 1995 but has its roots in earlier shipping businesses under the Government of the USSR. Sovcomflot Joint-Stock Company brought together several other operations into a single, unique state-owned corporation in 1988, with the later 1995 reorganisation of this entity into the state-owned business Sovcomflot giving the company special status.
The Sovcomflot fleet totals 146 vessels at present, of which a third have a high ice class. The majority of the vessels (125) are tankers, along with a smaller gas fleet, specialised fleet and dry cargo fleet. Sovcomflot provides support and servicing for offshore facilities in the oil and gas production sector as well as specialised hydrocarbon transportation.