Photo: Damen

Gulf of Finland’s 1st LNG bunkering vessel delivered

Estonian energy company Elenger has taken delivery of the first of Damen’s new class of liquified gas carrier (LGC) 6000 LNG bunkering vessels.

LNG bunkering vessel
Photo: Damen

Named Optimus, the 100-metre vessel will carry up to 6,000 cbm of LNG in two type-C tanks at -163° C.

The vessel was delivered in the Port of Rotterdam and will be the first LNG bunkering vessel in the Gulf of Finland, serving both LNG-powered vessels and smaller shoreside customers.

Its introduction is expected to accelerate the wider adoption of LNG as a cleaner alternative fuel in the Baltic Sea by providing a mobile and efficient ship-to-ship distribution service for the first time.

The vessel was built at Damen Shipyards Yichang and completed its gas trials in Damen Verolme Rotterdam shipyard before being delivered to its owner Infortar for charter by Elenger – the new trademark recently introduced by Eesti Gaas for its export markets.

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Specifically, Optimus is designed to meet the requirements of ICE class 1A certification and to achieve green ship notation. A dual-fuel propulsion system is used for the management of the Boil-Off Gas (BOG) in combination with a gas boiler system. The LGC range is also designed for fast and safe bunkering operations both in ports and offshore, and in all weather conditions. Thanks to dual propeller lines and an efficient hull design the vessels are highly maneuverable for in-harbor operations, according to Damen.

With this first LNG bunkering vessel, Elenger has significantly expanded its LNG distribution business in the Baltic region. The company has been supplying ferry company Tallink Group for the past five years, refuelling its LNG-fuelled RoPax ferry Megastar using multiple specialist trucks.

The Megastar will be one of the first beneficiaries of the arrival of Optimus, followed in spring 2022 by Tallink’s new LNG-fuelled RoPax ferry MyStar.

Elenger also has pre-agreements in place with other clients operating cargo and container vessels, tankers and cruise ships, among others.

“The launching of this LNG bunkering vessel is consistent with our long-term strategy to invest in safe and sustainable LNG supply for various maritime customers in the Gulf of Finland region,“ Ain Hanschmidt, CEO of Estonia-based investment company Infortar, commented.

“We are very pleased to be playing a significant role in making sustainable shipping more accessible to ship-owners and operators in the Gulf of Finland,” Peter Anssems, Damen Sales Manager for East Europe, said.

The construction of Optimus has been supported by the EU Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding programme and was co-financed by OP Financial Group.