11 Mar '09
Oleg Kouzbit, Online News Managing Editor
In early March Marchmont reported about new tankers being ordered from South Korean shipyards from Vladivostok’s Primorskoye Shipping, which is part of the PRISCO Corporation. Although Primorskoye is Russia’s youngest tanker fleet, its aggressive expansion program will double its deadweight by the end of 2010.
A purely “female team”
A key to PRISCO’s success is South Korea’s STX Shipbuilding, which has a stellar reputation for turning out high-tech tankers and other cargo ships on time and on budget. It’s getting a lot of PRISCO business.
The first week of March alone saw the company commissioning the Prisco Elena tanker from Primorskoye Shipping and successfully completing sea trials for another vessel, the Prisco Irina, that had been built shortly before the Elena.
At the moment, the Prisco Irina is preparing for its christening ceremony and is expected to make its maiden voyage later this month, PrimaMedia said. The Prisco Elena is having its upper deck equipment installed during its sea trials. The tanker is to be put into operation in May.
On March 10 Marchmont cited Interfax reporting the commissioning of a fifth tanker to be built by STX Shipbuilding for Primorskoye Shipping.
The latest one, the twill-hull Prisco Elizabeth, is 51,000 ton deadweight cargo vessel. The bulb-bowed tanker is reportedly capable of moving through 10-cm-thick ice without an ice-breaker. Its average speed on open water is 15 knots, the report said.
The first two tankers in this new family were put into operation in November 2008 and January 2009, respectively. The first one built by STX last fall to a Vladivostok order was the PRISCO Alexandra. In December, a second one followed, the Prisco Ekaterina, which was handed over to the owner in early January and made its maiden voyage soon afterwards, news agency Vostok Media reported.
“Family” expects seven
All these “ladies” are part of a series of seven vessels with 51,000 ton deadweight each. The new tankers 32 meters wide and 183 meters long each are designed to transport crude oil and petroleum products, as well as chemicals and edible cargo. All have twill hulls to ensure environmental safety.
Lloyd’s Register has given them a 1A ice class and a Winterization D (-25) notation, which means the vessels are best fit for operations in adverse climatic conditions in negative temperatures and ice.
One of the purposes the ships are to serve is ship oil from the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 projects.
Under contract terms, STX is expected to complete the entire series by the beginning of 2011, RIA Novosti reports.
S. Koreans chosen to double PRISCO’s fleet
STX Shipbuilding is a major international shipbuilding company headquartered in Jinhae, South Korea. It owns STX Europe, the largest shipbuilding group in Europe.
STX has built about 500 ships over the last 40 years in Busan and Jinhae. In addition to building ships in the 30,000-80,000 ton range, the company is planning to expand its business to include car carriers, ferries, and special ships.
However, STX is not the only partner for Primorskoye Shipping projects. In South Korea four out of the planned six vessels have already been built under a Primorskoye Shipping contract with Hyundai Heavy Industries.
All of these tankers also have twill hulls and a 1C ice class according to the international DNV classification to enable them to carry oil and petroleum products safely in heavy ice conditions, PRISCO sources reported.
As of now, Primorskoye Shipping’s aggregate fleet deadweight reportedly exceeds 1.3 million tons. It is Russia’s youngest tanker fleet too. Sources in PRISCO are confident that the firm will continue to make waves, claiming the company will double its deadweight by the end of 2010.