OCTOBER 18, 2018 — Yesterday, the 7,500 m3 capacity Kairos, the world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel, began its journey from South Korea shipyard Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) to the ship’s primary area of operation in Northwest Europe. The ship will be ready for operations before the end of this year.
Mahinde Abeynaike, CEO of Nauticor, which holds 90% of the joint venture that charters the vessel, emphasized the crucial role of the LNG bunker vessel for the LNG supply. “The arrival of the Kairos in the Baltic Sea will set a milestone for LNG as a ship fuel. 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 Klaipėdos nafta (KN), which holds the remaining 10% of the joint venture, points out that the new ship will ensure an efficient LNG reloading station service in the Port of Klaipėda in 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 Jusius.
Construction began in 2016 when the joint venture signed a time-charter agreement with ship owner Babcock Schulte Energy (BSE). In February 2018, steel cutting took place at HMD in Ulsan, South Korea. The 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.