The naming ceremony for the first Russian Arctic shuttle tanker (70,000 tonnes deadweight), ordered by the Sovcomflot Group, took place on 18 December 2007. She is the first in a series of three enhanced ice-class tankers, designed to transport oil from the Varandey oil field within the Arctic Circle (operated by Naryanmarneftegaz - a joint venture between Lukoil and ConocoPhillips). The ship takes her name from a prominent senior executive of Russia’s oil and gas industry – Vasily Aleksandrovich Dinkov.
The tankers of this series are “Vasily Dinkov”, “Timofey Guzhenko” and “Kapitan Gotsky”. They will all be entered in the Russian International Shipping Register, with St. Petersburg being their port of registry and will fly the Russian Federation flag.
The naming ceremony took place at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard (Republic of Korea). It was attended by a delegation from St. Petersburg, headed by the city’s Governor Valentina Matviyenko. Other delegates included: Gleb Ivashenzov, the Russian Ambassador to the Republic of Korea; Valery Ermolayev, Consul General of the Russian Federation in Korea; Aleksandr Misharin, Deputy Minister of Transport, Sovcomflot Board member; Andrey Dutov, Head of the Federal Industry Agency, Anatoly Barkov, Vice-President of Lukoil; Andrey Aprelenko, Director General of Rosnefteflot; Sergey Kolesnikov, Deputy Chairman of the Board, Vyborgsky Shipbuilding Yard; Sergey Frank, President and CEO of Sovcomflot; and representatives from the bank syndicate providing the finance.
“Vasily Dinkov” is built in compliance with the requirements of the Russian Register of Shipping and the American Bureau of Shipping, has the following specifications (dimensions in metres):
Length Overall – 257.0m
Breadth Moulded – 34.0m
Draft Moulded – 14.0m
Service Speed (open water) – 16.0 knots.
The Arctic shuttle tankers of the “Vasily Dinkov” class incorporate the most advanced and unique technical features. These will make it possible to operate the ships in temperatures of minus 40°C, breaking ice of up to 1.5 metre thick without an icebreaker escort. The ships have an ice-enhanced hull structure, designed in accordance with LU6 (1A Super) ice-class, under the classification of the Russian Register of Shipping. The tankers are equipped with two Azipod propulsion units, with a total power output equivalent to 20mW. The ships all have a dynamic positioning system for use in ice and a helicopter pad.
The new tankers meets all the international requirements related to the safety of navigation and the protection of marine environment.
Similar tankers - “Kirill Lavrov” and “Mikhail Ulyanov” - designed to ship oil from “Prirazlomnoye”, another Arctic oil field (operated by Sevmorneftegaz, the subsidiary of Gazprom), have also been ordered by the Sovcomflot Group. These are being constructed in St. Petersburg at the Admiralty Shipyards - the oldest Russian shipyard.
Sovcomflot Group is one of Russia’s largest infrastructural enterprises. Its fleet comprises 124 vessels with a total deadweight of 8.7 million tonnes. The Group has a new-building order book of 31 vessels with an aggregate deadweight (DWT) of 2.8m tonnes. The average age of the tanker fleet is six years (the world average age is 12 years). The Sovcomflot Group is the global leader in product carriers (45-47,000 tonnes DWT); the second largest in the Aframax segment (80-120,000 tonnes DWT) and it owns the biggest ice fleet. These market segments are the most in demand for Russia’s foreign trade.
Vasily Aleksandrovich Dinkov (25 December 1924 – 25 June 2001) was Minister of the Gas Industry (1985 –1989) and Minister of the Oil Industry (1985 – 1989). He was also honoured as a Hero of Socialist Labour. Vasily Dinkov was a veteran of the Second World War. He began his career as a junior engineer and reached the top positions in the oil and gas industry. Under his supervision, major reforms in the national gas industry took place. He was Minister of the Oil Industry during a difficult period in its development. During his tenure he led a significant restructuring of the industry and facilitated a step-change in Russia’s oil production.