Eesti Gaas places order for the first LNG bunker vessel for North-East Baltic Sea
The leading Estonian energy company Eesti Gaas has placed an order for an LNG (liquefied natural gas) bunker vessel with bunker tank capacity of 6,000 m3. The new vessel will provide mobile and efficient LNG bunkering for the growing number of LNG-fuelled vessels in the North-East region of the Baltic Sea and onshore clients. The vessel will be built by the Dutch shipyard Damen Group and will be delivered in September 2020, a press release from the Estonian company states.
"The vessel will load LNG in the Baltic Sea region terminals for distribution in the Baltic area. The vessel will predominantly operate in the Gulf of Finland area, which has a clear need to move towards clean energy supply," commented Ain Hanschmidt, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Eesti Gaas.
Eesti Gaas will operate this LNG bunker vessel under a long term charter from its parent company and owner of the vessel, Infortar AS. The technical management for the vessel will be provided by the region's leading shipping company Tallink Grupp.
"Since 2016, Eesti Gaas has expanded its LNG transport and bunkering capacity by entering into a long-term LNG bunker contract with Tallink whose experience with LNG over the last few years and technical expertise has been extremely valuable in developing the technical concept of the new bunker vessel. Today we are the biggest LNG bunker service provider in the region and a key promoter of LNG as clean marine fuel," said Margus Kaasik, Member of the Management Board of Eesti Gaas.
The new vessel will make the Baltic Sea cleaner and reduce pollution by serving the growing number of vessels in the region using LNG as a marine fuel. LNG is the cleanest marine fuel available. It enables to significantly reduce marine CO2 (30% less), NOx (85% less), SOx (99% less) and particle matter emissions (reduced by 100%).
By creating a mobile LNG-fuelling infrastructure, the LNG bunker vessel incentivises the construction and use of new LNG-fuelled vessels in the Baltic Sea Region and, therefore, has the potential to reduce Co2 emissions annually by more than 66 000 tons.
Safety is of paramount importance and is at the core of the design and build process for both the vessel class and the bunkering procedures. The bunker vessel will feature dual-fuel engines, thrusters that facilitate enhanced close-quarters manoeuvring and ice class 1A, according to the Finnish-Swedish ice-class regulations. This will allow her to operate all year round, including in the region's challenging ice conditions.
The new vessel will be capable of carrying out bunker activities both in ports and outside ports, at designated anchorage points. In combination with the innovative hull design and running on LNG, the vessel's emissions will be significantly lower than those of traditional vessels.
The two type-C LNG tanks will contain up to 6,000 m³ LNG at -163°C. The tanks and their piping system will be located partly exposed on the deck, which ensures good access and easy upgrade options as the LNG consumer market develops.
The LNG bunker vessel is an important part of the new mobile LNG infrastructure in the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea. This project is co-funded by the EU through the CEF Transport programme.
Main particulars of the vessel:
LNG cargo tank capacity: ~6000 m3
Deadweight: 3300 t
Length: ~ 99.80 m
Breadth: 18.60 m
Service speed ~13.40 knots
Delivery: September 2020
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