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01.12.14 20:51
Report "Analytical review of the market of river and river-sea tankers. Tendencies, problems and solutions"


IX International Congress "Oil Terminal 2014" on problems of processing, transportation and selling of oil, petroleum products and LPG took place in Saint-Petersburg. More than 400 delegates participated in the Congress. They were from a lot of organizations, i.e. from 65 oil and trader companies; 45 oil terminals and petroleum depots of Russia and CIS; 35 transport, shipping and bunkering companies; 15 ports pf Europe, Russia and CIS; 10 oil processing plants.
 
The General Director of Marine Engineering Bureau, professor, doctor of technical sciences Gennadiy Egorov introduced the report "Analytical review of the market of river and river-sea tankers. Tendencies, problems and solutions".
 
The report concerned problems of oil and petroleum products transportation by Russian water transport, including problems of united deep-water system of European and Siberian parts of Russian inland waterways. Also the repot included transportation perspectives, analytical review of the tanker market (tendencies, problems and solutions), influence of International Conventions and native Technical Regulation onto condition of tanker fleet and subsequent shipowners' strategy.
 
Main ideas of the Report
 
It is noted, that for the biggest part of domestic river and river-sea tankers' shipowners the date of 01.01.2015 means start of significant restrictions (up to termination) of operation for existing soviet built tankers.
 
Paradoxicality of this situation is in the fact that it was formed by International law from the one side and Russian national requirements from the other side. International requirement means prohibition set by International MARPOL Convention for "single hull" tankers usage for marine transportation of heavy grade oil (s.g. > 0.9); "single hull" vessels include also and double hull ones if double bottom height or double sides breadth are less than required value. Russian national requirements mean prohibition set by Technical Regulation for "single hull" tankers usage for river transportation of any dangerous cargoes (including light oils and oil products).
 
The existing "Technical Regulation Concerning Safety of Inland Water Transport Objects" was approved by RF Government by Decree No. 623 dated 12.08.2010; it came into force on 23.02.2012. In accordance with the paragraph 108c of this Regulation, all the tankers (except berth-connected ones) would have double bottom and double sides along whole breadth and height of cargo tanks; otherwise cargo tanks should be of independent type. All the tankers that don't meet this requirement would have no possibility to operate after 31.12.2014.
 
Shipowners tell that this problem would affect about 700 self-propelled vessels and 900 non-self-propelled barges. The most part of such vessels should be removed out of operation. Accordingly one may take into consideration that cargoes will not be able to be delivered to customers by other kinds of transport or by other "double-hull" vessels; the biggest part of shipowners has neither own funds nor sufficient deposit property to get credit.
 
Considering abovementioned, the RF Ministry of Transport prepared the following amendments to the Technical Regulation (amendments themselves are under examination now):
 
• from the 01.01.2015 all self-propelled tankers independently of built date with cargo capacity of 600 t or more that transport heavy grade oil (s.g. > 0.9), would have double bottom and double sides along whole breadth and height of cargo tanks; otherwise cargo tanks should be of independent type;
• from the 01.01.2018 all tankers independently of built date with cargo capacity of 200 t or more, will have double bottom and double sides along whole breadth and height of cargo tanks; otherwise cargo tanks should be of independent type. Seaworthiness of such vessels at ballast loading will be provide without taking ballast to the cargo tanks;
• tankers that operate at "O-PR", "M-PR" or "M-SP" areas shall have sufficient slop tanks for keeping washing water after washing cargo tanks if this operation is required by transportation regulations.
 
Actually these amendments prolong operation of existing vessels that provide "northern delivery" (light petroleum products) and non-self-propelled barges (all oil products) for 3 years more.
 
Same time "Volganeft" and "Lenaneft" type tankers (621 prj.), also modernized "Volzhsk" and "Volgo-Don" type vessels will be prohibited for masout and other hard petroleum products marine transportation since 01.01.2015. The prohibition list is enlarged by "Lenaneft" type tankers (R-77 prj.) and oil-ore carries at inland transportation.

 
From the other side, replenishment of such vessels' fleet takes place yet now. At XXI century 104 "Volgo-Don Max" tankers and 34 self-propelled tankers of other projects were built; all objects fully meet present ecological requirements. Moreover, new projects construction is carried out by-series at Kranoe Sormovo Shipyard (Nizhniy Novgorod), Oka Shipyard (Navashino), Brothers Nobel Shipyard (Rybinsk), Zelenodolsk Shipyard named for A.M. Gorkiy, Lotos Shipyard (Astrakhan), Kostroma Shipyard, Don Kassens Shipyard (Aksakay). Yaroslavl Shipyard and Sosnovka Shipyard started to build small tankers. Practically all the shipyards, including leaders are able to take new building orders even for 2015. So shipbuilders are highly interested in shipyards' work-load and in keeping vessels construction rates (it is impossible without new orders).
 
Analytical part of the report is, as follows:
 
1. Main tasks that are solved by river and river-sea tankers and tug-barge trains (TBT)

 
1.1 River and river-sea tankers and TBT are used (or may be used) at the next river-sea transport directions at the European RF part:
 
• at South direction (from Tatyanka, Samara, Saratov, Kashpir, Oktyabrsk and other river ports towards roads transshipment complexes of the Caucasus port);
• at North-West direction (from Kstovo, Nizhnie Mully, Ufa, Nizhnekamsk and other river ports towards roads transshipment complexes and Russian ports at the Gulf of Finland);
• at North direction (from river ports towards ports of the White Sea).
 
River-sea tankers at European RF part transport about 9-12 million tons of crude oil and petroleum products annually; transportation capacity is rising, light products part is increasing. Same time absolute capacity of masout export isn't decreasing.
 
River transportation of oil petroleum products are more cheaper and less air polluting than railway transportation. But no one has to oppose these transportation variants. Inland water transport works at warm season when rivers are free from ice, but in summer number of passenger South trains increases significantly; so for such situation river and railway transportations supplement each other (and don't imped).
 
Soviet times built vessels ("Volgoneft" type tankers and also oil-ore carriers) carry out the significant part of river-sea transportation.
 
On 01.01.14 there are total 131 "Volgoneft" type tankers with Russian River Register (RRR) Class; their mean age is as follows: 46.2 years for 21 vessels of the initial 558/550 prj. and 39.5 years for 110 vessels of the 1577/550A prj. From this group 23 tankers have "unfit" assessment.
 
Almost all tankers of 1577/550A project, built for RRR "M" class, have got higher classes now: RS class R2-RSN (10 ones), RS class R3-RSN (5 ones), RRR class "M-SP" (31 ones). 14 vessels were forwarded to the weaker RRR class "O-PR" due to the bad technical condition, the rest vessels are of RRR class "M-PR".
 
Main ecologic problem of "Volgoneft" type tankers is that their double bottom doesn't meet MARPOL requirements, that cargo tanks have got excess length and that there are no slop tanks. In reality these tankers should not be operated for heavy oil and oil products marine transportations (i.e. cargoes with s.g. > 0.90) from 2008.
 
Oil-ore carriers that are intended for transportation of oil cargoes (in single-hull side tanks) and dry cargoes (in double-hull cargo hold) are also concentrated in the European RF part. Oil-ore carriers with RRR class have mean age of 36.8 years.
 
1.2 Petroleum products transportation by TBT at the shallow water regions of European part of RF inland waterways.
 
Particularly R-27 barges must be noted as they were specially constructed for work at Belaya River (export transportation). In 2011 these small draught single-hull "Belskaya" type barges (included in TBT with "Ural" type pushers) transported from Ufa oil plants 880 thousand tons of petroleum products through Belaya River. In 2010 such amount was 550 thousand tons and in 2012 it was about 1 million tons.
 
From group of 896 barges (mean age of 29.1 years) 12% have unfit or restricted suitable technical condition. Small number of barges was constructed in the end of 90s and in the beginning of 2000s.
 
1.3 "Northern delivery"; oil and petroleum products transportation through Siberian Rivers, including reaching the Northern Sea Route.
 
For example, in the Lena basin social significant (energy) cargoes such as oil products and coal occupy 57% of total cargo transportation. Absolute weight characteristics of these cargoes' transportation are constant; total capacity is about 2 million tons.
 
Mainly oil products in bulk are delivered to the Tiksi port by tankers of 1577 project ("Volgoneft" type, double-hull ones, don't satisfy MARPOL requirements; officially they are not able to transport cargo with s.g. > 0.9) and 1754 project (single-hull ones can't work at river).
 
From the Tiksi port to the Nizhneyansk (Yana River) transportation is fulfilled by vessels of 621 and R-77 projects, and further to the river settlements by single-hull 414B prj. vessels (SPN type) owned by OJSE "Yana River Shipping Company".
 
From the Tiksi port to estuary sandbar of the Indigirka River transportation is fulfilled also by vessels of 621 and R-77 projects, and further by 414B prj. vessels owned by OJSE "Lena United River Shipping Company" (vessels are registered at the Belogorsk River port).
 
River-sea tankers of 621 and R-77 projects ("Lenaneft" type, they don't meet MARPOL requirements, R-77 ones additionally have no double bottom that doesn't allow work even at rivers) and 1577 project ("Volganeft" type) transport oil to the estuary points of the Yana, Kolyma, Indigirka and Anabar Rivers; at these points cargo flow is divided into parts with further delivery to the shore petroleum depots.
 
Practically all transportation at Western Siberia is fulfilled by single-hull tankers also.
 
Mean age of R-77 tankers ("Lenaneft" type) is 32.3 years. From this group 6 ones (15%) have "unfit" assessment. Their main problem is absence of the double bottom (while there are double sides).
 
2. New generation of river-sea and river tankers
 
At XXI century 104 "Volgo-Don Max" tankers and 34 self-propelled tankers of other projects were built.
 
Actual fleet incoming of post-Soviet shipping companies is shown below for 01.11.2014 (river, river-sea and restricted marine regions vessels).
 
Vessel's type Vessels' number Shipyard
Self-propelled "Volgo-Don Max" tankers
RST27* tanker/products carrier of "VF Tanker" type, deadweight 7100/5420 tons 29 Krasnoe Sormovo, Oka and Kherson Shipyards
19614 tanker/products carrier of "Nizhniy Novgorod" type, deadweight 5600/5100 tons 25 Krasnoe Sormovo Shipyard
005RST01* tanker/products carrier of "Armada Leader" type, deadweight 6500/4700 tons RST22* tanker/products carrier of "New Armada type, deadweight 7000/4600 tons RST22M* tanker/products carrier of "New Armada type, deadweight 7100/4600 tons 24 Krasnoe Sormovo Shipyard, Turkish shipyards (7 vessels are under building)
19900 tanker/products carrier, deadweight 7100/4600 tons 5 Krasnoe Sormovo Shipyard
17103 tanker/products carrier, deadweight 5420/4250 tons 2 Volgograd Shipyard
00216 tanker/products carrier, deadweight 6610/5300 tons 3 Oka Shipyard
RST25* tanker/products carrier of "Alexander Shemagin" type, deadweight 6700/5420 tons 5 Brothers Nobel (Rybinsk), Zelenodolsk and Lotos Shipyards (totally 7 vessels were ordered)
Project 52 tanker, deadweight 5400 tons 1 Kostroma Shipyard
RST11* tanker, deadweight 6586 / 4677 tons/td> under building Samara Repair-Operational Base (order for 1 vessel)
RST12* tanker, deadweight 7150 / 5400 tons under building Turkish shipyards (order for 5 vessels)
RST28* tanker, deadweight 7150 / 5400 tons under building Ruse, Bulgaria (order for 3 vessels)
RST54* tanker-platform, deadweight 5600 tons 1 Oka Shipyard (10 vessels under building)
HCR0805 tanker/products carrier/chemical tanker of "Calliope" type, deadweight 6024-7441 tons 8 China shipyards
Tanker/products carrier of "Midvolgaquot;, deadweight 6290 tons 1 Gorodets (second vessel is under building)
Other self-propelled tankers
0201 tanker/products carrier of "LukOil" type, deadweight 6600/3640 tons 10 Volgograd Shipyard
19619 tanker, deadweight 13110 tons 14 Krasnoe Sormovo Shipyard
00210 (00230) tanker of "Astana" type, deadweight 12360 tons 6 Vyborgskiy Shipyard
00260 tanker, deadweight 12125 tons 1 Zelenodolsk Shipyard
15790T tanker of "Andropov" type, deadweight 4585 tons 1 Brothers Nobel Shipyard (Rybinsk)
001RST02* bunkering tanker of "Eco-Mariner 1" type, deadweight 1200 tons 1 Astrakhan Shipyard
RT18* bunkering tanker, deadweight 517 3 Yaroslavl Shipyard
RST05* bunkering tanker, deadweight 3955 / 2868 tons 2 Don-Kassen Shipyard, Aksay (2). Kherson Shipyard
RST26* chemical tanker, deadweight 4600/2820 tons 1 Kherson Shipyard (2)
Note. * - Project of Marine Engineering Bureau

Source: Marine Engineering Bureau.
 
In the beginning of XXI century a task of creation of new universal dry-cargo ships with reliable hulls and equipment which will be economically effective at linear operation on internal waterways (i.e. be able to load same cargo amount as famous Volgoneft ones) at the limited draughts at the Azov and Caspian Seas, will correspond to the maximal dimensions of the Volgo-Don Shipping Canal (i.e. be of "Volgo-Don Max" type). Such problem has appeared in connection with growth of volumes of transported cargoes from Russian European river and estuary ports. Also the new vessels will be operated all-the-year-round with the minimal losses of running time in coastal areas of Europe, including transitions through bay of Biscay during the winter period (RS class notation R2). Other words, there must be vessels with quite equal river and marine abilities.
 
Later on, while building such universal "Volgo-Don Max" type tankers (005RST01 prj., Armada type ones) new ideas have gone from customers, concerning dealing with new market segments and with new specializations, satisfying local conditions.
 
Main tendency is construction cargo vessels for the RF European inland waterways, which will be characterized by enhanced river function, i.e.:
 
• RST12 and RST25 mixed river-sea tankers of "Volga-Don Max" class with an increased river cargo capacity due to reasonable hull weight decreasing and accepting rational sailing region class (RS class notations R2-RSN 4.5, RRR class notation M-SP 4.5);
• "super fat" mixed river-sea RST27 tankers of "Volga-Don Max" type with an significant increased river cargo capacity and vessels designed on this base;
• "estuary" river dry cargo vessels of "Volga-Don Max" type with lowered air draught, that allows to pass under the bridges of the Neva River and the Rostov-on-Don railway bridge without drawing and also through Moscow River;
• "estuary" RST54 river combined platform tankers based on "super fat" contours of RST27 project; these vessel are intended for transportation of cargo that doesn't suffer from wetting (e.g. gravel, rolled metal, "heavy" containers, cars, etc.) towards one direction and oil products towards back direction (10 vessels are under construction now, total 20 vessels order is awaiting);
• TBT that provide significant advantages comparing with "single" vessel if transportation process is organized properly.
 
The character feature of this enhanced river function concept is "expanding" narrow places of inland water transport by using new technical decisions. Other words, transportation ability is increased by maximal usage of actual way characteristics (maximal available vessel's length and breadth), and mainly by usage extremely fat hull contours, that have never used before in world's practice. And at least, decreasing of air draught allows to avoid running time loss for waiting of bridges drawing in St.-Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don and allows to work through Moscow River till the Yuzhniy port.
 
In 2010 Marine Engineering Bureau developed CP1002 concept of "estuary" river-sea tanker of "Volga-Don Max" type ("M-PR" class notation) with lowered air draught. This concept is made on the basis of analogue RSD44 dry cargo vessel and practically has no hull parts (wheel house and living deck-house) overhanging above trunk; such construction allows to pass under bridges of Saint-Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don without their drawing. Hull weight decreasing and contours "fatness" rising were achieved due to lowering of sailing region level; this provided enhanced cargo capacity for restricted river draughts (deadweight is 5520 tons for draught of 3.60 m). Vessel is called of "estuary" type because she will be able to operate at inland waterways, Finnish Gulf (Baltic Sea) and Azov Sea (till the Kerch Straits). Non-restricted under-bridge passing allows to save up to 20 days per navigation. But for this variant all-the-year-round operation is impossible due to low class.
 
That is why in 2011 river-sea RST27 tanker project of "VF Tanker" type with "super fat" forms was developed using new theoretical result of Marine Engineering Bureau investigations concerning possibility of block coefficient rising.
 
Such tanker got enhanced river cargo capacity while keeping sailing region R2 and possibility for all-the-year-round operation (as for Armada series). Her deadweight became 5420 tons for draught of 3.60 m; such achievement equate this tanker to the "estuary" river ones (keeping marine deadweight 7000 tons as for universal tankers of RST22 and RST22M projects).
 
Later on, usage of RST54 combined vessels (project of 2013) with "super fat" forms and "estuary" class notation "M-PR 2.5" provides, as follows:
 
• both directions cargo transportation (oil cargoes towards one direction and dry cargoes towards back direction);
• lowering highways rate by transportation of 200-280 passenger cars, that usually are brought from St.-Petersburg to central Russia by car transportation trucks;
• transportation of 120 containers (weight up to 26 tons) that are prohibited for car trains transportation due to unallowable road loads. Containers' number may include 45 refrigerating ones.
 
Decisions due to development of oil TBT shall be explained especially.
 
In the USA, cargo transportation through inland waterways is carried out by pusher method only (TBT usage) for more than 130 years yet. About 600 million tons of cargoes are transported annually.
 
In the fact, such transportation regime is like railway one. Pushers of 3-10 thousand kW work by pushing trains consisted of tens barges at their routes between ports and locks, as locomotive done from one station to another. Liner pusher tugs aren't use for port and manoeuvre operations and for "trains" formation. Oil, provision and consumable supply is carried out on-the-run.
 
Any TBT may include barges with different cargoes, e.g. oil and dry bulk ones. Oil TBT may transport petroleum products of 5-6 types. Dry cargo sections may be used for cargo transportation after coal transportation (of course, holds surface is coated with polyethylene film before grain loading); empty oil barges may be used for automobile transportation.
 
Port roads works are provided by small pusher tugs that handle arrived to destination sections and replace them by the new "wagons", after that "train" resumes its movement.
 
Starting from such approaches, TBT of "Volgo-Don Max" type was developed for Palmali Group of Companies in 2002. This 004ROB05 project had compromised character as it foresaw existing pusher tug (length 45-50 m) usage.
 
004ROB04 TBT of "Volgo-Balt Max" type was developed for Volgotanker Company in 2003 on the basis of 004ROB05 one for masout transportation towards NW direction. New 2000RPT01 pusher tugs usage was foreseen; tug's length was decreased to 30 m; that provided increasing barge's length while TBT length corresponds to "Volgo-Balt Max" dimensions. Due to well-known circumstances, neither barges nor pusher tugs of this concept were built.
 
In such variant TBT operation towards South direction is impossible (from Tatyanka / Samara / Kashpir to Kerch / Caucasus) due to incompatibility of TBT length to the corresponding inland waterway restrictions (locks' length). Also operation in Black Sea and Mediterranean during between-navigations period is impossible too.
 
004ROB04 and 004ROB05 projects have principal seaworthiness restriction due to usage of traditional domestic O-200 tractive connection that doesn't provide safe connection in waves greater than 2 m (i.e. at Ladoga or Onega Lakes, and even more at Gulf of Finland and Azov Sea); at such situation barges must be towed nor pushed, TBT speed decreases from 10 to 5 kn.
 
In accordance with above mentioned, in 2010 marine TBT of "Volgo-Don Max" type was worked out; she is equipped with semi-rigid marine tractive connection that keeps workability till 7 m waves. Moreover, hulls of pusher tug and barge were designed due to RS requirements (i.e. more strong and reliable but more heavy accordingly).
 
Transition to qualitatively new level of transportation organization for water transport is needed. Due to experience of highly developed USA river transport this problem can be solved by more wider usage of pushing TBT either of classical river type (domestic tractive connection of O-200, UDR-100 and other types) or marine types with tractive connection of Japanese, Finnish or American types. Thus it is necessary to understand clearly, that simple creation of TBT project isn't enough. Effective TBT operation demands radical change of transportation organization (i.e. using of so-called "rotator" when single pusher tug serves 2-3 barges).
 
This problem isn't solved yet, so the biggest part of new building objects are classical type tankers, not TBT (pusher tug + barge).
 
Quite different situation was formed in the Siberian and at the North of the European part of Russia. Problem concerning replenishment of northern rivers fleet has to be solved taking into consideration existing and perspective cargo flows of the specific region and region's needs.
 
Up-to-date conception of river-sea vessel (RSV) for the "northern" goods delivery was formulated by the author in such way: ""Lena Max" type vessel is a cargo river-sea one fully using dimensions of Lena River fairway from Yakutsk port till Tixi port (including season draughts alternation from 2.10 till 3.50 m). Also such vessel should have maximal (from running ability point of view) block coefficient, enhanced cargo capacity while keeping available minimal vessel's depth, enhanced manoeuvrability in the constrained conditions and shallow water due to full-turn rudder propeller usage, reasonable operational reliability of hull constructions with simultaneously optimal steel intensity.
 
But RSV with working draughts 2.10-3.50 m cannot provide transportation at all inland waterways. Their work is effective (Yakutia is an example) from Yakutsk downstream, and further with voyages through the Northern Sea Route from Taimyr Peninsula towards Chukchi Peninsula. Transport vessels with draughts about 1.40-1.80 m are needed for providing "northern" goods delivery from Usk-Kut to Yakustsk, to "side" rivers, and also trough the sandbars of the rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean (Yana, Indigirka, Kolyma, Anabar, Olenek and Khatanga Rivers). As a rule, such vessels have small cargo capacity (600-1000 tons) and usually get RRR class notation not better than "O" (i.e. without marine voyages) for decreasing light weight.
 
As a result of Lena basin investigations, there was introduced a special new small-draught concept RT63 tanker-pusher vessel plus ROB21 tanker barge. The maximal deadweight of this TBT is 4619 tons at maximal draught 2.35 m; at draught 1.40 deadweight is 2026 tons.
 
RT63 tanker-pusher vessel is a steel single-deck self-propelled double-screw one of "O" class, with inclined stem and transom stern, with ER located aft, with living superstructure and wheelhouse located fore, with double bottom and double sides, with trunk at cargo zone, with bow thruster, with fore UDR-100 tractive connection for providing pushing of tanker barges. RT63 deadweight is as follows: 773 t at draught 1.40 m; 1040 t at draught 1.60 m; 1310 t at draught 1.80 m (DWL); 1581 t at draught 2.00 m; 1787 t at draught 2.15 m; 2064 t at draught 2.35 m (operation at "R" class basins).
 
Perspective projects (RT63, RT63A) of inland waterway vessels are successors of project TO-1400 (class "O" river tanker) and are intended to substitute existing tankers of 1754, CK-2000K, 414 and 414 projects.
 
New barge projects (ROB21, ROB21A) are the successors of the -2000 concept and enhance operational abilities of tanker-pusher vessel, increase cargo capacity of TBT and provide loading multiplicity for river-sea tankers. ROB21 deadweight is as follows: 1253 t at draught 1.40 m; 1526 t at draught 1.60 m; 1801 t at draught 1.80 m (DWL); 2075 t at draught 2.00 m; 2280 t at draught 2.15 m; 2555 t at draught 2.35 m.
 
The head -2000 barge was constructed at Zhataysk Shipyard in 2006. In 2008 construction of the hull of the head TO-1400 tanker was completed; then hull was towed to the Zhataysk Shipyard harbour for construction finishing.