Largest LNG bunker supply vessel ready

'Kairos' 'Kairos' has a tank capacity of 7,500m3. Credit: Nauticor

A new 7,500m3 capacity LNG bunker supply vessel has started its voyage from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) in South Korea to its primary area of operation in Northwest Europe.

Believed to be the world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel, Kairos has a ballast-free design and CNG tank to store vapour return gas from customer vessels. The Babcock Schulte Energy (BSE) owned ship is expected to provide security of supply in the Baltic Sea as well as significantly contribute to green shipping, and will be ready for operations before the end of 2018.

“The arrival of the “Kairos” in the Baltic Sea will set a milestone for LNG as a ship fuel,” said Mahinde Abeynaike, CEO of Nauticor, which holds 90% of the joint venture that charters the vessel.

“From then on, supply of LNG as a marine fuel in the Baltic Sea is secured on a large-scale basis. This is a great step for sustainable and responsible shipping with a large impact on air and water quality,” he added.

LNG logistics chain

Mindaugas Jusius, CEO of Klaipėdos nafta, which holds the remaining 10% of the joint venture, pointed out that the new ship will ensure an efficient LNG reloading station service in the Port of Klaipėda (Lithuania) and offer a full LNG logistics chain in the Baltic Sea Region to its customers.

“The main advantage and ambition of the new vessel is to ensure more competitive pricing for the LNG reloading station users. It will not only reduce the cost of the LNG supply chain, but will also ensure the smooth and reliable service to distribution station users in Klaipėda,” noted Mr Jusius.

The construction of the vessel started in 2016 when the joint venture signed a time-charter agreement with BSE. In February 2018, steel cutting took place at HMD in Ulsan.

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