Estonia-based energy company Eesti Gaas has placed an order with Damen Group for the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker vessel.

The short-sea vessel will provide ship-to-ship LNG bunkering services to the LNG-fuelled vessels operating in the North-East region of the Baltic Sea and onshore clients.

Damen Yichang Shipyard in China will build the 99.80m-long and 18.60m-wide vessel, which will be designed to carry 6,000m³ of LNG in two type-C tanks at -163°C.

Delivery of the LGC 6000 LNG class vessel is expected to take place by September 2020.

Eesti Gaas Supervisory Board chairman Ain Hanschmidt said: “The vessel will load LNG in the Baltic Sea region terminals for distribution in the Baltic area.

“The vessel will predominantly operate in the Gulf of Finland area, which has a clear need to move towards clean energy supply.”

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The LNG bunker vessel, which will feature a hull design, will be developed to conduct bunker operations both in ports and outside ports.

“The vessel will predominantly operate in the Gulf of Finland area, which has a clear need to move towards clean energy supply.”

Shipping company Tallink Grupp will provide technical management for the vessel, which is expected to make the Baltic Sea cleaner and help reduce pollution in the region by supplying the vessels with LNG.

Compared to other fuels, LNG is said to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur oxides (SOx) by 30%, 85%, and 99%, respectively.

Eesti Gaas will operate the vessel under a long-term charter from its parent company and owner of the vessel, Infortar.

Development of the ship is co-funded by the European Union’s (EU) CEF Transport programme.