Baltic Workboats

Contract signed for Estonia’s first 100% alternatively fueled workboat

Estonian shipbuilder Baltic Workboats AS signed a contract with the Estonian State Fleet for the design and construction of a new environmentally friendly multipurpose vessel.

Baltic Workboats

As informed, the vessel will be powered by biomethane and electricity to guarantee ecological sustainability.

Expected to be completed in 2026, the new workboat will enhance the capacity for regular buoy tender works, maintenance of waterways, scientific research, pollution monitoring and response and search and rescue missions in Estonian waters.

“We are very pleased that Estonia’s first large workboat operating on alternative fuel will be completed right here in Estonia, on the island of Saaremaa,” Andres Laasma, Director General of the State Fleet, commented.

“The long-term experience and internationally recognized expertise in the construction of various workboats of the Baltic Workboats gives us comprehensive confidence that the vessel will be built according to the highest quality requirements and exactly as needed considering the specifics of Estonian waters,” Laasma added.

The length of the new workboat will be about 40 meters, the width will be about 10 meters and the maximum speed will be up to 12 knots. Exact parameters of the workboat will be determined during the detailed design process.

The multipurpose vessel will be Estonia’s first 100% alternatively fueled workboat that will use sustainable biomethane as the main fuel, thanks to which it will be possible to minimize the ship’s CO2 emissions.

In addition, the ship will be equipped with a battery bank that allows the operation of the ship also in 100% electric mode with zero emissions.

According to Margus Vanaselja, Chairman of the Management Board of Baltic Workboats, state orders are a prime example of how the public sector and companies can work together to develop the Estonian economy.

“When it comes to domestic orders, we perceive the trust of the state and feel a special responsibility. The multipurpose workboat, developed especially for Estonia and based on green technologies, will later become a reference product for export markets,” Margus Vanaselja said.

The value of the contract for the design and construction of a multipurpose vessel is €22 million. The project has been funded by NextGenerationEU, the European Union’s recovery instrument, and national state budget.

Baltic Workboats has long-term experience in the construction of research vessels and special purpose vessels. A total of 17 vessels were completed in 2023 and they went to Oman, Canada, Norway, Ukraine, Belgium, Bangladesh and Bulgaria.

In related news, Estonia launched in December 2023 a call for tender to build a next-generation zero-emission, battery hydrogen-fueled ferry for the Virtsu-Kuivastu route. The new energy-efficient ferry will be unique in the region, as it will be able to run entirely on hydrogen fuel, in addition to shore-supplied electricity, operate without noise and vibrations, and operate in fully autonomous mode with crew onboard.

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The Estonian State Fleet is a government-controlled center dedicated to developing and managing state-owned vessels.