Environmental protection and energy efficiency


Sovcomflot appreciates its responsibility for the quality of the environment and seeks to minimise its impact on the environment by introducing innovations, reducing energy consumption, and increasing staff qualifications. 

The Sovcomflot Group’s Green Charter is a declaration of commitments related to sustainable development approved as part of the РАО Sovcomflot Strategy.The document lays down the strategic areas of SCF's activities aimed at sustainable development and proclaims the Company's commitment based on compliance with the requirements of international industry regulations and standards. The document pays special attention to measures to fight climate change by using innovative technologies and raising personnel awareness on environmental protection. The Company also declares its intention to continue implementing «green» technologies including energy ones, as well transparent energy consumption calculation methods. Reducing carbon footprint from the fleet while maintaining high economic indicators is one of the key directions for development specified in the document.

SCF Group’s fleet meets the highest environmental standards and complies with both existing and anticipated regulations and requirements. All new tankers delivered to Sovcomflot have an additional class notation confirming their high environmental compatibility. This is another proof of Sovcomflot’s commitment to being responsible.

Sovcomflot Group’s operating specifics are associated with certain man-made environmental impacts, which include emissions from different types of fuel burned by ship engines and discharge of wastewater generated by ships.

The Sovcomflot Group environmental protection policy is an integral component of the overall management system for safe operation of ships and pollution prevention established in accordance with the International Safety Management Code, which lays down the principles, goals, objectives and key areas of the company’s environmental safety activities.

The main goals of the SCF environmental protection policy are to increase environmental sustainability of the fleet and to raise the capitalisation of the Group by ensuring the reliability and environmental safety of the services rendered.

The Environmental Protection Policy provides for the following activities: 

  • 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 core operations; 
  • Environmental risk management programmes, which include risk identification and assessment, 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 the Environmental Protection Policy, and encompasses the activity of all employees of the Group, from ships’ crews to top management.

Reducing vessel emissions

The basic components of atmospheric emissions are carbon, sulphur and nitrogen oxides formed during the combustion of fuel in ship engines.

The decrease in CO2 emissions is due to the increase in the use of LNG fuel in 2020 to 16% of the total fuel consumption of the fleet, which generally boosts the energy efficiency of ships.

Although the share of LNG fuel in the total fuel consumption of the fleet increased in 2020, this  did not lead to a reduction in nitrogen oxides emissions because their amount largely depends on the engines' running time and operating load.

The significant reduction in sulphur oxides emissions in 2020 is result of activities carried out in 2019 on all the Group's ships to prepare for the switch to low-sulphur marine fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0,5% from 1 January 2020. 

The Group is constantly supplementing the fleet with energy efficient and environmentally sus-tainable, new generation vessels which incorporate innovative technologies, developing a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for each ship in order to control emmissions of hazardous substances from exhaust fumes, and fulfilling EU Council Directive 2012/33/EU on the sulphur content of certain marine fuels, using ship fuel with a reduced sulphur content.

The commissioning of the series of SCF's new generation vessels, the world's first Aframax tankers specially designed to run on LNG, has significantly contributed to environmental protection.The tankers of this series have dual-fuel main and auxiliary engines and boilers. These vessels are fitted with Selective Catalytic Reduction technology, which enables compliance with Tier III regulations governing NOx emissions (Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Polution from Ships) even when running on diesel fuel.

The first vessel of the series was put into operation in 2018. By the end of 2019 the number of Aframax tankers in the SCF fleet capable of running on LNG increased to six. An analysis of data obtained from ship operations during 2018-2020 confirms the theoretical calculations that Sovcomflot relied on when assessing the prospects of this technology. 

Atmospheric emissions from an LNG-fuelled tanker, tonnes per year

Wastewater and waste management

A key focus of the Sovcomflot Group’s environmental protection activities is reducing the amount of wastewater and waste that gets into the World ocean during ship operations. These activities are carried out pursuant to the internal procedures of the Group, which encompass the requirements of both international and domestic legislation.

At present the Group’s ships are equipped with wastewater treatment systems that combine me-chanical, chemical, physical-chemical (including electrolysis) and biological methods. All wastewater treatment plants on board ships have the approval of classification societies confirming compliance with the requirements of Annex IV of the MARPOL 73/78 Convention. The quality of discharged water is confirmed by a wastewater plant certificate (type approval certificate).

Management of garbage produced on ships during operations is also organised in strict compliance with Annex V of the MARPOL 73/78 Convention, which governs the prevention of pollution by garbage from ships.

Energy efficiency initiatives

Energy consumption reduction is conducive to minimising negative impact on the environment. Sovcomflot 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 reli-able information on the consumption of fuel and oil and the energy efficiency of ship engines and boilers and to identify opportunities for saving energy and increasing the energy and environmental performance of ship power plants.

During 2020 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 air 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 ballast voyage to minimise fuel consumption on 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 Company’s ships since 2009. 
  • Monitoring and optimising energy consumption for heating and ventilation in the ship’s living quarters.
  • Optimising the power output in navigation and harbour modes.
  • Establishing an energy conservation culture on ships.
  • Checking fuel and oil consumption meters on ships.
  • Monitoring the state of the hull and its timely cleaning. The main engine propeller characteristics are monitored. The speed of the ship relative to land and water, weather conditions, and propeller slip are controlled on a daily basis. In some cases, underwater images are taken to evaluate hull fouling.
  • Ensuring that the consumption of main engine cylinder oil does not exceed the recommended level.
  • Determining 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).
  • Using innovative low-friction hull coatings in order to increase the inter-docking period, reduce the hull fouling and eliminate the need for underwater hull cleaning between dockings.
  • Replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving (fluorescent, including compact fluorescent, and LED) bulbs on a scheduled basis. Placing light sources (local lighting, spot lighting) in an optimal way. Increasing the light output of existing sources (replacing lamp shades, cleaning them, using more efficient reflectors). Using lighting control devices (motion sensors, light sensors, timers).

Sovcomflot Group realises its high responsibility for the quality of the environment and seeks to minimise its adverse impacts on the environment by introdicing innovations, reducing energy consumption, and increasing staff qualifications.