The Lithuanian Armed Forces is looking into buying a new oil pollution response and maritime rescue ship for assignments in the Baltic Sea.
The Defence Materiel Agency under the Ministry of National Defence has completed public market consultations concerning the procurement – market participants have been familiarised with procurement documents, technical specification of the ship needed, qualification requirements for ship builders, and discussed other relevant information. The invitation to tender is planned to be announced in April.
Preliminary value of the project is approx. 39.6 million Euros. It is planned to be financed from the European Union Structural Assistance Funds for 2014-2020 (“Water Resources Conservation” instrument) through signature of a project financing contract with the Environmental Project Management Agency.
Contract with the successful bidder will be signed in December 2019 with a prospect to complete the project by 2022. The ship will be delivered with all equipment necessary for its functions, in complete assembly and ready for operations.
The new procurement will be given to the Lithuanian Navy and replace the only national pollution response asset Lithuania currently has – LNS Šakiai rescue ship. Built in 1986 as a fishing trawler, the ship is technically dated and fails on the many requirements a multirole ship has to meet. “A quick and efficient response is vital in human search and rescue and pollution incident control, and it depends on the technical qualities of the equipment. We can only ensure the necessary maritime safety and expedient completion of corresponding functions only by procuring a new search and rescue and pollution incident control vessel,” Vice Minister of National Defence Giedrimas Jeglinskas says.
The new ship will also ensure that the Republic of Lithuania is fulfilling its national and international maritime commitments through arrangement, coordination, supervision, and conduct of search and rescue and polluting incident response, and assisting other national agencies on that matter. Lithuania is committed to respond to pollution incidents by various bilateral and multilateral contracts. Also, the new ship will be available for responding to onboard fires, emergency ship towing, performing in oil-polluted areas and providing assistance to divers.
The Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre of the Lithuanian Navy which is responsible for arranging, coordinating, and leading search and rescue for people lost at sea and pollution incident response operations recorded over 60 incidents in 2018 alone – 38 persons were rescued, 6 reports on polluting incidents were received, 12 search and rescue operations were coordinated.