In the process of the restoration of independence of the Republic of Estonia in December, 1989, the factory employees established a rental enterprise. In 1995 the stock-company “Baltic Shipyard” was founded. In 1989, the first foreign ship was repaired here: a Finnish motor ship “Tradewind”. The very first ship that was repaired at the times of newly independent Estonia was the trawler “General Pushkin”.
Along with economic development of Estonia, the factory developed: Tallinn subdivisions were transformed into independent enterprises, whereas the new ones were created outside Estonia. Thus, in 1991, the shipyard and a Swedish company Premator formed a joint enterprise Baltic Premator. Its main activity was abrasive-jet cleaning of ship hulls and metal constructions. Additionally, the company Elme was created in 1993 on the basis of energy-mechanical service. In 1996, the very first foreign affiliate company called Elme L was established, which produced and sold industrial gas to Latvia.
At the end of the 1990s, the factory continued with shipbuilding. The specialists of the factory built borderline, pilot and coastal boats for Estonian Border Guard and Estonian Maritime Administration. Moreover, a hydrographical ship for Kaliningrad port was built.
In 2001, the factory purchased shipyard Tallinna Meretehas, which still builds and repairs ships, and the cultural quarter Noblessner is now rapidly developing. The shipyard bought the shares of Klaipeda ship-repair yard, on the basis of which the Western Shipyard concern was formed; it has been operating with great success since 2001. Such considerable expansion, which reflected in creation of 40 affiliates in four countries, led the stock-company leadership to changing the name and image of the enterprise. As a result, our concern has been known as BLRT Grupp since October, 2001.
Success achieved by BLRT Grupp team is also acknowledged on public level. Business newspaper Äripäev named Fjodor Berman, the Chairman of the Management Board of BLRT Grupp, “Estonian Businessman 2003”. The concern was honoured with a title “The Most Competitive Enterprise of Estonia” according to the results of a contest organised by Enterprise Estonia (EAS) and the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In 2007, the concern purchased Finnish Turku Repair Yard, which has the biggest dry dock in Northern Europe. The same year, the company Fiskerstrand BLRT was formed together with Norwegian Fiskerstrand Verft shipyard. After only a few months, the concern was trusted with construction of three new ferries by Estonian ship company Saaremaa Laevakompanii.
The expansion of the company and an increase in its production capacity also reflected in the completed orders. For example, the concern built a service vessel for Windlift wind farms. In addition, it constructed the sections for underwater part of Stockholm subway Citybanan.
In 2010, the concern purchased a shipyard in Klaipeda, Baltijos Laivu Statykla, and Baltic Engineering Centre, which were combined with the operating companies of Lithuanian concern and integrated into it as Western Baltija Shipbuilding and Western Baltic Engineering. Together with its partner Fiskerstrand Verft, the concern also bought a Norwegian ship design company Multi Maritime. Thus, the enterprise was now able to offer the full variety of ship services: the design, construction, repair, modernisation and utilisation of ships. BLRT Grupp has built 28 ferries, including the world’s largest gas ferry (as for year 2012). The concern has also built fishing trawlers and ship for dredging work, contemporary tugboats, dry cargo ships, catamarans serving wind farms, ports and fish farms. are currently being constructed. Western Baltija Shipbuilding to build a research vessel for Klaipeda University.
Apart from shipbuilding and ship-repair, the concern is also increasing activity in the field of manufacture and retail of metal products and production of gas. For instance, an air-separation factory in Liepaja (Latvia) and Dnepropetrovsk (Ukraine) were launched in year 2012 and similar factories in Vaivara (Estonia) in year 2013. In 2013 the new central warehouse started the manufacturing facility in Estonia, Maardu, and was completed the project for the establishment of new metal service and logistic center in Latvia, Riga.