On March 8, in the city of Ulsan, South Korea, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd handed a new tanker, the SCF Caucasus, deadweight 159,000 tonnes, to its client the Russian Sovcomflot (SCF) company. Today, a Russian crew took the tanker first on its way to Singapore for fuelling to proceed from there to the Persian Gulf for the tanker's first loading. The new tanker of the Suezmax class is intended for transporting crude oil. It is the second tanker whose construction was commissioned by Sovcomflot from Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. after the SCF Altai completed in December 2001 and to be followed by the SCF Khibiny, which is supposed to be accepted from the maker in May 2002. Sovcomflot plans the commissioning of a total of 6 identical tankers from the South Korean wharves.
The press service of Sovcomflot says the company had to order the Suezmax-class tankers from Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. there being no wharves in Russia capable of handling projects of such magnitude. These tankers are most effective transporting crude from Northern Europe and Western Africa to the U.S. They will be also serviced by Russia's oil terminals. The vessels conform to the international safety norms, having double-walled hulls strong enough to be used non-stop for 25 years. The tankers are 275 metres long, their immersion 17 metres.
Under the programme of the renovation of Russia's tanker fleet, Sovcomflot has also commissioned the construction of two tankers, deadweight 47,400 tonnes, from the Admiralty Wharves in St. Petersburg. The 100% Russian government-owned Sovcomflot is one of the thirty world's largest shipping companies. Its fleet consists of over 70 vessels, their combined deadweight in excess of 2.5 million tonnes. The company transports 35 million tonnes of crude annually.