Small-scale LNG carrier for Skangas

The 18,000m3 'Coral EnergICE' will serve the short-sea LNG traffic to Finland The 18,000m3 'Coral EnergICE' will serve the short-sea LNG traffic to Finland

Dutch specialised tanker operator Anthony Veder is developing coastal and intra-regional LNG transport capacity by commissioning the 18,000m3-capacity ‘Coral EnergICE’, reports David Tinsley.

Powered by LNG dual-fuel machinery and certified to 1A Super ice class standard, the latest newbuild is a product of Neptun Werft at Rostock. Sea trials were conducted in the southern Baltic during early January. Neptun is part of the Meyer Group, which completed a seminal project in the small-scale LNG tanker sector in 2012 by constructing the 15,600m3 LNG carrier Coral Energy for Veder.

Coral EnergICE has the security of a long-term charter commitment from Gasum, calling for the transfer of LNG to western and northern Finnish import terminals on behalf of the Finnish gas supplier’s Norwegian subsidiary Skangas.

The deal for Coral EnergICE had special significance by virtue of the nature of the financial arrangements involved. The €66m (US$81m) financing drawn up at the end of 2015 constituted “the first sustainable shipping loan” certified according to the Clean Shipping Index guidelines by Bureau Veritas, which also verified the green credentials of the transaction.

After the environmental assessment, ABN Amro and Delta Lloyd Asset Management confirmed the loan of €66m over a 20-year period. The pair are claimed to be the first financial institutions to perform a thorough sustainability assessment of a ship design during the loan approval process. This is viewed as a key driver for enhancing the environmental standing of the maritime industry, putting down a marker for other banks and investors.

Cargo boil-off from Coral EnergICE will be used to fuel the MaK dual-fuel propulsion engine, virtually eliminating sulphur oxide (SOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions, and substantially reducing nitrogen oxides (NOx). The project’s ‘green’ credentials also derive from the ship’s prospective contribution to increased use of cleaner-burning LNG in the Finnish energy mix.

Coral EnergICE has a comprehensive Caterpillar outfit, comprising the eight-cylinder MaK M46DF main engine, one C32 diesel auxiliary, two CG132 gas engine auxiliaries, and a Caterpillar propulsion package. The Dutch shipowner has experience with the specific type of LNG-burning main machinery, through the repowering of the 6,500m3 Coral Anthelia in 2015. The pioneering project entailed the conversion of the vessel’s MaK M43C diesel engine to a six-cylinder M46DF model.

The role of the Coral EnergICE will be to convey cargoes to the Tahkoluoto import terminal at Pori completed during 2016, and to the new Manga LNG terminal in Tornio, at the northernmost point of Finland’s Baltic coast. The vessel’s highest ice class notation is a measure of her operating remit, to ensure dependable and safe operation on a year-round basis through extreme weather conditions in the northern Baltic.

The €110m (US$135m) Manga complex, which will include bunkering facilities, is a joint venture of Skangas, Outokumpu, SSAB and EPV Energy. Once completed the summer of 2018, it will rank as the largest LNG import terminal in the Nordic countries. A preliminary, initial shipload was conveyed to Manga on November 19 by the Coral Energy.

Coral EnergICE strengthens contractual links between Anthony Veder and Skangas, as the latter has secured LNG transport capacity since 2012 through charters on Coral Energy and Coral Anthelia. In addition, the Norwegian company employs the 2017-delivered, 5,800m3 LNG bunker tanker Coralius, owned by a joint venture of Veder and Sweden’s Sirius Shipping.

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