Estonians deploy Chinese-built LNG bunkering vessel to service ships and small-scale users in Gulf of Finland

Thursday, 28 October 2021
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Elenger, the energy company in the Baltic state of Estonia, has taken delivery of the first of a Damen Shipyard-built liquefied natural gas bunkering vessel, the first LNG fuel supplier deployed in the Gulf of Finland to serve ships and shoreside small-scale customers.

The “Optimus” is 100-metres in length with 6,000 cubic metres of capacity in two type-C tanks.

The deployment of the ship involved multinational efforts from project participants in China, Estonia, Russia, the Netherlands and France.

“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,” said Elenger.

The vessel loaded LNG in the port at Vysotsk island in Russia and headed to Tallinn in Estonia.

The bunkering vessel was built in China at the Damen Shipyard in Yichang City, located on the left bank of the Yangtze River.

The construction was overseen by French classification society Bureau Veritas.

Gas trials for the “Optimus” were completed in the Damen Verolme shipyard in the Dutch port of Rotterdam.

The owner of the “Optimus” is Estonian investment company Infortar and Elenger is the charterer.

“Optimus is designed to meet the requirements of ICE class 1A certification and to achieve green ship notation,” said Elenger.

“A dual-fuel propulsion system is used for the management of the boil-off gas in combination with a gas boiler system, and the interior of the vessel features high-quality accommodation for her crew,” added the company.

“With this first LNG bunkering vessel, Elenger has significantly expanded its LNG distribution business in the Baltic region,” said the company.

It has been supplying one of the leading regional ferry companies, 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”.

Ain Hanschmidt, Chief Executive of the Estonian-based owners, investment firm Infortar, said its strategy is to invest in safe and sustainable LNG supply for various maritime customers in the Gulf of Finland region.

The construction of the “Optimus” was supported by the European Union Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding programme and was co-financed by the leading financial services group in Finland, OP Financial Group.

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