The world’s largest liquified natural gas bunkering vessel has left South Korea on its maiden voyage to Northwest Europe where it will supply LNG fuel to ships in the Baltic Sea region.
The ship, named Kairos, comes with an LNG capacity of 7,500 cubic meters, making it the largest LNG bunker vessel built to date.
The vessel is owned by Babcock Schulte Energy (BSE) and will be time-chartered to a joint venture controlled by Hamburg-based Nauticor, part of The Linde Group.
Delivery of the Kairos comes just nine months after steel cutting took place at the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea.
In addition to its size, the vessel is also notable for its ballast-free design and an installed CNG tanker that store recovered vapors from the vessels being bunkered. “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 percent 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. I would like to give my respect to our team and our partners – it is a great achievement to deliver such a complex and first of its kind vessel on schedule.”
Mindaugas Jusius, CEO of Klaip?dos nafta (KN), which holds the remaining 10 percent of the joint venture, points out that the new ship will ensure an efficient LNG reloading station service in the Port of Klaip?da (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 Klaip?da,” noted Mindaugas Jusius.