Excelerate Energy has teamed up with Gasgrid Finland on a new 10-year charter for a floating storage and regasification vessel in the Baltic Sea region.

The Exemplar (built 2010) will provide flexible, reliable and secure LNG supplies to Finland, Estonia and the wider area, the company said.

Excelerate chief executive Steven Kobos, Gasgrid Finland CEO Olli Sipila and Gasgrid Finland chairman Kai-Petteri Purhonen signed the contract at the Government Palace in Helsinki on 20 May.

The ceremony was also attended by minister of finance Annika Saarikko, director-general for energy Riku Huttunen and the US ambassador to Finland, Douglas Hickey.

Excelerate will deploy the Exemplar to provide regasification services in southern Finland.

The FSRU has storage capacity of 150,900 cbm of LNG and can provide more than 5bn cbm per year of regasification capacity.

Gasgrid Finland has also signed a deal with Estonia’s gas transmission operator, Elering, so that the unit may be located in an Estonian port this winter if terminal structures are not yet completed in Finland.

“Flexible access to LNG is a critical component of European energy security,” said Kobos.

“We are honoured to collaborate with Gasgrid Finland to deliver essential energy infrastructure that will benefit Finland and more broadly the Baltic Sea region.”

Sipila added: “We are glad that we were able to sign the agreement on such a fast schedule. It required the committed contribution of dozens of top professionals, for which I am very grateful.

“Leasing an LNG terminal vessel is extremely important, as it ensures security of supply for gas supplies in both Finland and Estonia. On the other hand, we see that there is a need for the terminal in the wider Baltic Sea region and it has been received with interest.”

TradeWinds reported earlier this month that Excelerate was in line for the business, aimed at freeing the countries from their dependence on Russian pipeline gas supplies.

Excelerate, which was in the process of listing in the US at the time, had previously declined to comment on the reports.