The world’s largest LNG bunkering vessel has kicked off commercial operations in Northwest Europe, where it will supply LNG fuel to ships in the Baltic Sea region.
Chartered by Blue LNG, the MV “Kairos” was handed over by the owner Babcock Schulte Energy in the port of Klaipeda. Nauticor said bunkering operations kicked off today, December 11.
Blue LNG is a a joint venture involving leading Hamburg-based LNG supplier Nauticor, holding a 90% share, and the Lithuanian energy infrastructure provider KN, which holds 10%.
The construction of the vessel started in 2016 when the joint venture signed a time-charter agreement with ship owner Babcock Schulte Energy. In February 2018, steel cutting took place at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) in Ulsan, South Korea, and in October 2018 the vessel was delivered by the shipyard.
With a tank capacity of 7,500 m3, Kairos is the world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel. In addition to its size, the ice-class vessel has several other unique features, including the ballast-free design and installation of a CNG tank to store vapor return gas from customer vessels.
Mahinde Abeynaike, CEO of Nauticor, spoke of the importance of the milestone.
“With the handover of ‘Kairos’ we are securing the supply of LNG as a marine fuel in the Baltic Sea on a large-scale basis. Thanks to our large LNG storage tanks with a pump rate equivalent to more than 30 LNG trucks per hour and our innovative maneuvering technology, marine customers will be able to benefit from an extremely fast and safe LNG ship to ship supply. From now on, also large vessels can bunker LNG in the Baltic Sea,” said Abeynaike.