The Finnish Border Guard’s new LNG-fuelled offshore patrol vessel Turva has begun service in and around the Gulf of Finland.
The LNG used to propel the offshore patrol vessel is supplied by Skangass, a unit of Gasum.
The Border Guard’s new offshore patrol vessel (OPV) is the second large LNG-fuelled vessel sailing the Finnish waters. Gasum has entered into a four-year agreement on the supply of LNG to propel the OPV. Gasum was selected as the LNG supplier in a competitive tendering process conducted by the Finnish Government’s central procurement unit Hansel Ltd. Gasum acquired 51 percent of the LNG distribution business of the Norwegian company Skangass. The company operates under the same name in all Nordic countries and Finland.
As well as performing border management duties, the multipurpose vessel will serve in maritime search and rescue missions and demanding environmental safety operations such as oil spill response. The vessel can be refueled flexibly at various Gulf of Finland ports, such as Hanko, Hamina, Vuosaari, Turku, Pori and Raahe where LNG will be delivered by Skangass by road tankers from company’s own production plant in Porvoo. OPV Turva will be refueled – bunkered – using two road tankers at the same time.
LNG helps reduce shipping emissions
The use of LNG helps reduce all shipping emissions. Replacing heavy fuel oil with LNG reduces energy consumption and eliminates sulfur emissions, while nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions are cut by 85% and greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. LNG meets the stricter environmental standards such as the limits on sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions from ship exhausts that will enter into force in the Baltic Sea.
“LNG use will increase in the next few years. We’ve already made preparations for this and selected Tahkoluoto, Pori, as the location of Finland’s first LNG terminal. The investment decision, however, is not made. As well as in Pori, in the future LNG-fuelled vessels can also be refueled in Tornio where we have a collaboration LNG terminal project with industrial companies. The Skangass acquisition facilitates access to and distribution of LNG in the Nordic countries. Following the acquisition we now also have a production facility and terminal in Norway as well as a terminal that will become operational in Sweden in the summer,” says Skangass Director Tommy Mattila.
LNG helps cut operating costs
The Border Guard’s new 96-meter offshore patrol vessel was designed in cooperation with the Finnish Environment Institute and various ministries. According to Gunnar Holm, the Finnish Border Guard, environmental aspects were the weightiest reason for the selection of the LNG vessel. The vessel’s operating costs also proved to be so low in the comparisons carried out that it may only take a few years for its procurement outlay that is higher than for a traditional solution to pay itself back.
“According to our Norwegian colleagues, LNG-fuelled engines have worked well and stayed in a good condition. Gas is a clean fuel, which reduces engine wear and maintenance needs, and with LNG vessels run very smoothly,” says Gunnar Holm from the Finnish Border Guard.
Press Release, July 1, 2014; Image: Skangass