Estonian energy company Eesti Gaas began providing liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering services to LNG-powered vessels in the port of Hanko, Finland, for the first time in addition to Tallinn and Helsinki.
For the port of Hanko, this means scheduled LNG bunkering on its premises, and Eesti Gaas will be providing the service to two new ships in addition to Tallink’s Megastar.
The two ships bunkered by Eesti Gaas in the port of Hanko are the largest dual fuel LNG vehicle carriers in the world. Sister ships Auto Energy and Auto Eco transport new vehicles from Europe to Finland and Russia.
The ships of ice class 1A Super can accommodate a total of 4000 vehicles on their ten decks. Both environmentally friendly ro-ro ships belong to UECC, one of the largest companies specialising in short sea vehicle shipping in Europe.
“In addition to new passenger ships, new cargo vessels are changing to the LNG technology in larger and larger numbers. LNG will eventually replace diesel fuel among marine fuels, which will contribute to cleaner air and cleaner Baltic Sea,” noted Kalev Reiljan, member of the management board at Eesti Gaas.
The first bunkering in the port of Hanko followed a lengthy period of thorough preparation and work for the prevention of any potential risks. “Thorough groundwork and the extensive experience of our specialists ensured that the first bunkerings in Hanko have gone smoothly as planned,” Reiljan said.
In the following months, truck-to-ship bunkering in Hanko will be performed once a week, every Friday. Four truckloads of LNG, which makes 72 tonnes, will be pumped to the ship. Like in Helsinki, Eesti Gaas is planning to deliver LNG to the port of Hanko from the new Novatek’s LNG plant in Vysotsk, which was commissioned with the assistance of Eesti Gaas experts.
Eesti Gaas is the leading LNG supplier in the region and the biggest truck-to-ship LNG bunkering provider in whole Northern Europe. By now, Tallink’s vessel Megastar has been truck-to-ship bunkered with LNG in the ports of Tallinn and Helsinki over 2000 times.
Last year, Eesti Gaas supplied over 16,000 tonnes of LNG from its various sources in Russia, Finland, Lithuania and Poland while the amount supplied a year before had been 12,300 tonnes. The company has procured nine semi-trailers for the purpose of LNG transportation and bunkering.
Currently the Dutch shipbuilding company Damen is building for Eesti Gaas LNG bunkering vessel, which is to render services in the northern and eastern part of the Baltic Sea. It will be completed in 2020 and start bunkering environmentally friendly vessels operating in the Gulf of Finland.
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