The first sections of the 6,000 cu m vessel were cut from 8mm steel plate at the ceremony. Construction of the vessel will start in May with installation of the LNG tanks scheduled for November.
The Ice Class 1A is expected to arrive in Estonia next summer following sea trials and Eesti Gaas will operate the vessel under a long-term charter from its parent company Infortar. The new vessel will be capable of carrying out bunker activities at designated locations both in and outside ports.
“The start of steel cutting for this brand-new vessel for Infortar marks an important milestone in the start of her construction,” said Peter Anssems, sales manager, sales East and South-East Europe for Daman, in his speech at the ceremony.
“We are very grateful to Eesti Gaas and Infortar for choosing Damen to build their new LNG bunkering vessel. This newbuilding project is also an excellent example of the cooperation between China and the Netherlands and underlines the capabilities of Damen Yichang Shipyard as a builder of sophisticated vessels.”
Kalev Reiljan, a member of the management board of Eesti Gaas, said: “Eesti Gaas has performed over 1,500 port-based LNG truck-to-ship refuellings of Tallink’s LNG-powered Megastar ferry and now we are moving on toward offshore, more mobile solutions.”