The world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel Kairos departed from the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea, on October 17, heading for the ship’s primary area of operation in Northwest Europe.
The ship, with an LNG capacity of 7,500 m³ is the world’s largest LNG bunkering vessel, and it is expected to 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. 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,” Mahinde Abeynaike, CEO of Nauticor, which holds 90 percent of the joint venture that charters the vessel, said.
Mindaugas Jusius, CEO of Klaipėdos nafta (KN), which holds the remaining 10 percent 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,” Jusius added.
The construction of the vessel started in 2016 when the joint venture signed a time-charter agreement with ship owner Babcock Schulte Energy (BSE). The vessel has several other unique features, including the ballast-free design and installation of a CNG tank to store vapour return gas from vessels being bunkered.