Lithuania’s Defence Materiel Agency is planning to procure a new oil pollution response and maritime rescue ship for use by the Lithuanian Navy in support of assignments in the Baltic Sea.

The agency has completed public market consultations in relation to the procurement, which is expected to cost around €39.6m.

As part of the consultations, participants were briefed about the technical specification of the ship, qualification requirements for shipbuilders, and other relevant information.

The invitation to tender is anticipated to be issued next month.

Lithuania intends to finance the project using the European Union Structural Assistance Funds for 2014-2020.

To arrange the funding, a project financing contract would be signed with the Environmental Project Management Agency.

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“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.”

Lithuania’s Ministry of National Defence expects to sign the contract with the successful bidder in December this year.

The bidder is required to complete the project by 2022 and to deliver the ship in complete assembly and ready for operations.

The vessel being purchased will replace the existing LNS Šakiai national pollution response and rescue ship.

Lithuania’s Navy is keen on buying the new oil pollution response boat as the existing one is obsolete and does not fulfil the requirements of a multirole ship.

The country’s national defence vice-minister Giedrimas Jeglinskas said: “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.”

The proposed vessel will also be used by Lithuania to fulfil its national and international maritime commitments.

It will be deployed to coordinate, supervise, and conduct search and rescue and polluting incident response, as well as assist other national agencies on the issue.

Other functions to be performed by the vessel include responding to onboard fires, emergency ship towing. It will also carry out duties in oil-polluted areas and assist divers.