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. Named Optimus, the 100-metre vessel will carry up to 6,000m³ 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.

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, and the interior of the vessel features high-quality accommodation for her crew. 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 a very efficient hull design they are highly manoeuvrable for in-harbour 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.

left to right: Jelena Fedosejeva (Member of the Supervisory Board), Virgo Vinkel (Shipbuilding Advisor), Sergei Danilov (Project Manager LNG), Ain Hanschmidt (Member of the Management Board), Indra Kaunis (Legal Counsel), Peter Anssems (Sales Manager, Damen), Tarvi-Carlos Tuulik (CEO Ship management / Chief Captain), Jan Versteijlen (Project Manager, Damen)
left to right: Jelena Fedosejeva (Member of the Supervisory Board), Virgo Vinkel (Shipbuilding Advisor), Sergei Danilov (Project Manager LNG), Ain Hanschmidt (Member of the Management Board), Indra Kaunis (Legal Counsel), Peter Anssems (Sales Manager, Damen), Tarvi-Carlos Tuulik (CEO Ship management / Chief Captain), Jan Versteijlen (Project Manager, Damen)

With this first LNG bunkering vessel, Elenger has significantly expanded its LNG distribution business in the Baltic region. The company 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. 212-metres in length it has capacity for 2,800 passengers, 250 freight vehicles and 150 cars. The Optimus will now replace the trucks with a cleaner and much more efficient service. Elenger also has pre-agreements in place with other reputable clients operating cargo and container vessels, tankers and cruise ships, among others.

Ain Hanschmidt, CEO of Estonia-based investment company Infortar says: “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.“

“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.”

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