Science and innovation


Sovcomflot is a world leader in the development and implementation of maritime transport innovations. The company’s reputation for consistent innovation stems from: continuing to improve its use of technology and equipment; implementing international best practice; improving fleet management, and enhancing knowledge management strategies for employees, including seafarers and shore-based specialists.

Over the past years, whilst implementing its fleet renewal programme, Sovcomflot has worked on the optimisation of engineering and technical solutions designed to develop the transportation component of large industrial projects, including the implementation of uninterrupted year-round seaborne transportation along the Northern Sea Route (Yamal LNG and Novy Port Projects).

As a result, Sovcomflot’s fleet has increased with the addition of vessels with unique technical and operational capabilities, which ensure a competitive advantage in the harsh climatic conditions of the Arctic and subarctic seas.

Sovcomflot has regularly won national and international awards for its innovative achievements.
  • 2018 marks ten years since SCF vessels began servicing the Varandey Project. The company’s participation in the project was recognized by the Russian Government’s prize in science and technology “For the development and industrial implementation of innovative scientific, methodological and technological solutions in the creation of an oil transportation system in Arctic weather and under ice conditions”. We refer to the construction and operation of a unique series of Vasily Dinkov-class Arctic shuttle tankers. In 2008, the tanker Vasily Dinkov was also amongst the finalists of the prestigious award presented by the leading shipping and maritime publication – Lloyd’s List - in the Ship of the Year category. Read more
  • Shturman Albanov, Sovcomflot’s Arctic shuttle tanker, won the 2017 Marine Propulsion Award for the 2016 Ship of the Year. The winners were announced at the European Marine Engineering Conference in Amsterdam on 26 April 2017. Read more
  • In September 2017, Sovcomflot was named the Laureate of the International Competition for Scientific, Technical and Innovative Projects aimed at the development and study of the Arctic and continental shelf, which is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation. First prize was presented to the SCF team “For the development and practical implementation of technological solutions in the creation of year-round marine transportation of hydrocarbons from the Gulf of Ob”. Read more
  • In December 2017, Christophe de Margerie, the LNG Arctic gas carrier commissioned by SCF to service the Yamal LNG Project, won the prestigious 2017 S&P Global Platts Global Energy Award for Engineering Project of the Year. Read more

Sovcomflot encourages professional development amongst its personnel and welcomes additional education and training programmes, aimed at providing in-depth studies of modern technologies in fleet management. Our engineering specialists have very advanced scientific skills. Currently, twelve seafarers, working in the company’s fleet, have completed their post-graduate studies and received the title of Candidate of Technical Sciences, or are preparing to defend their theses.

In 2017, the company’s fleet received a unique training manual - Practical Recommendations by SCF Captains for Vessel Management under Ice Conditions. The most experienced ice-navigation captains took part in systematizing and consolidating their accumulated work experience in the Varandey, Prirazlomnoye and Sakhalin-1 Projects, which formed the basis for the book. In the next edition, it is planned to supplement the manual, including practical experience gained from serving the Novy Port Project.

Sovcomflot Group’s innovative activities are carried out in accordance with the requirements and methodological recommendations of the Federal Agency for State Property Management, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Presidential Council for the Modernisation of the Economy and Innovative Development of the Russian Federation. Priority directions for Sovcomflot’s innovative development are determined in accordance with Decree No. 899 of the President of the Russian Federation dated 7 July 2011. Sovcomflot has developed its own engineering school. Photo: specialists at the SCF Engineering Centre discuss project documentation.

The main fields for innovative activities and scientific, research and development, and technological projects of Sovcomflot Group are as follows:

  • Conducting research, calculations and experiments to select optimal parameters for the main propulsion machinery in vessels in terms of their energy efficiency and environmental impact reduction;
  • Developing the ship owner’s technical requirements for Aframax-class tankers operating on a three-fuel main engine (heavy and diesel fuel, gas);
  • Providing significant input to the Shell Delivery Procedures Manual for LNG bunkering guidelines, the first industry document of its kind;
  • Ensuring a project engineering plan for a vessel service life of up to 25 years in the most difficult North Atlantic winter conditions (equivalent to a 40-year service life in other ocean areas);
  • Applying strength calculations and fatigue characteristics of hull structures according to the new rules for vessel construction;
  • Conducting research, calculations and experiments on selected optimal hull structures and parameters for propeller-rudder systems;
  • Studying and approving design documentation for the construction of a Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU);
  • Working out methodological recommendations to ensure navigational safety for large tonnage tankers and LNG tankers during year-round navigation in the Gulf of Ob.

The company regularly monitors and analyses the value of an integral key performance indicator for effective innovative development.

The integral key performance indicator includes the following four elements:

  • Sovcomflot’s level of expenses for financing scientific work and research and development, conducting research and development, organising professional training programmes, personnel training and re-training courses, and upgrading employee skills. Performance target - not lower than 0.4 per cent of the company’s annual revenues;
  • The company’s level of navigational safety and compliance with customer requirements - the average number of comments after inspections by OCIMF member companies of all SCF vessels during the reporting period. Performance target - not higher than the industry average, which is calculated annually in terms of ship inspection results according to OCIMF and INTERTANKO data;
  • The level of operational costs per vessel. The level is based on the analysis of vessels for which there is relevant data for the reporting period (according to independent analytical and consulting agencies - Drewry, Moore Stephens). Performance target - less than 100 per cent of the global industry average;
  • The level of expenses for crews. The level is based on the analysis of vessels for which there is relevant data for the reporting period (according to independent analytical and consulting agencies - Drewry, Moore Stephens). Performance target - less than 100 per cent of the global industry average.

According to the results of the first three quarters of 2017, the integrated KPI for Sovcomflot’s innovative development reached 115.27 per cent.