First LNG Bunker Vessel for the Baltic Region
The Estonian energy company Elenger has taken delivery of the first of Damen’s new class of Liquified Gas Carrier (LGC) 6000 LNG bunkering vessels. The new bunker vessel, named Optimus, 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 in the Baltic by providing a mobile and efficient ship-to-ship distribution service for the first time.
The 328-foot Optimus, which can carry up to 6,000m³ of LNG in two type-C tanks at -163° C, 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, a new company introduced by Eesti Gaas for its export markets.
The Optimus is designed to meet the requirements of ICE class 1A certification and to achieve a green ship notation. A dual-fuel propulsion system is used for the management of the boil-off gas 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.
The vessel used dual propellers and an efficient hull design to provide it with high maneuverability for in-harbor operations. A modern cargo handling system and redundant manifold arrangements allow them to perform reliable and flexible fuel transfers in accordance with the highest industry requirements.
“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,” added Peter Anssems, Damen Sales Manager for East Europe. “We are confident that Optimus will give many years of productive service to Elenger and its customers.”
With this first LNG bunkering vessel, Elenger has significantly expanded its LNG distribution business in the Baltic region. The company has been supplying the regional ferry company Tallink Group for the past five years, refueling its LNG-fuelled RoPax ferry Megastar using multiple specialist trucks. The Megastar will be one of the first customers for the Optimus, followed in spring 2022 by Tallink’s new LNG-fueled RoPax ferry MyStar.
The Optimus will replace the trucks with a cleaner and much more efficient service. Elenger also has pre-agreements in place with other clients operating cargo and container vessels, tankers, and cruise ships.
The construction of Optimus was supported by the EU CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) funding program and co-financed by the financial services group in Finland, OP Financial Group.