China’s Damen Yichang Shipyard has laid the keel for a new 6,000 m3 LNG bunker vessel for the Baltic region.
The LNG bunker vessel (LNGBV) is being built for Estonia-based natural gas company Elenger, formerly known as Eesti Gaas. Following sea trials in H1 2020, the LNGBV will arrive in Estonia to start LNG bunkering operations at designated locations both in and outside ports in the northern and eastern Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland in H2 2020. The vessel has an overall length of 99.8 m, beam of 18.6 m and service speed of 13.4 knots.
With Ice class 1 A certification, it will be able to bunker LNG-fuelled tankers, cargo ships, passenger and other vessels in the Gulf of Finland. One of the vessels that will be refuelled by the LNGBV is Tallink’s Megastar ferry, which operates between Tallinn, Estonia, and Helsinki, Finland. Elenger currently uses tanker trucks to refuel Megastar.
Elenger board member Kalev Reiljan said, “While, as a rule, ships come to the terminal for bunkering, in this case our mobile terminal will come to the client itself.”
Mr Reiljan added, “There are only five such vessels in the world, and Elenger will have the sixth, which will be one of its kind in the northern and eastern part of the Baltic Sea. In addition to ports in Estonia and Finland, we are also planning to render services to ports in Latvia.”
In his welcome speech, Damen sales manager Peter Anssems noted that the newbuilding project is an excellent example of the co-operation between China and Europe.
The construction of the LNGBV is financed by Estonia-based investment firm Infortar and cofunded by the European Union. Elenger has signed a long-term contract for operating the vessel with Infortar and an agreement with Tallink to provide technical support and personnel.