The ferry, the Ring, is relatively new, having been laid about five years ago and refitted with hybrid diesel-electric power plants a few years ago. It struck the Kuivastu wharf, on Muhu – an island adjacent to Saaremaa and connected to it by a causeway – causing damage to both the ship and the land vehicle ramp, not to mention the president’s car, July 21.
Technical problems were later to blame, according to the TS Laevad ferry company, and she was brought to the port of Tallinn for repairs.
Although the exact nature of these problems has not yet been fully clarified, the Ring leaves Tallinn on Friday in time to return for the Virtsu-Kuivastu route timetable on Saturday.
Guldar Kivro, Board Member of TS Laevad, said: “We concluded that such anomaly only occurs if certain parameters coincide when sailing in hybrid regime”, referring to the technical problem which caused last month’s incident.
“We are getting closer to the cause of the crash, but the exact cause is currently unknown; data analysis continues as well as system testing by manufacturers in a virtual environment,” he said. -he adds.
“We are bringing the ferry back to the Saaremaa route from tomorrow, and until the reason for the error is clarified in detail, the Ring will operate only on diesel-electric power, that is, in the same configuration as our other three main vessels. Meanwhile, the testing of hybrid systems and checks to determine the fault in detail will continue, ”Kivro added.
Economic Affairs Minister Taavi Aas (Center) said on Friday: “It is good that we can bring the Ring get back on the road earlier than the previously estimated date of August 10. We know that the Ring being off the road has caused inconvenience to residents, tourists and entrepreneurs on the islands, and we are all the more pleased to see regular ferry service restored. “
Aas said this week that his ministry would buy back most of the five ferries that serve Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, and / or one that is still under construction, to save millions a year.
TS Laevad is a subsidiary of the Port of Tallinn (Tallinna Sadam), a partly state-owned company.
TS Laevad’s Guldar Kivro added that simulating the conditions that occurred in Kuivastu when the incident occurred resulted in the manifestation of the same defect.
The return of the Ring means the Tiiu will resume its usual route between Hiiumaa and the mainland, joining the Leiger, while the Piret and the 50-year-old Regula will continue to serve Saaremaa.
The reduction in capacity on the Hiiumaa route following the ferry crash to Saaremaa, and the resulting queues, sparked protests from residents and others with disabilities. connections with the island, which affirmed their favoritism.
No one was injured in the incident on July 21, although the president’s unofficial personal car was damaged.