World’s Largest LNG Bunker Vessel Commences Operation
The world’s largest LNG bunker vessel Kairos started operations this week in the port of Klaipeda, Lithuania, on the Baltic Sea coast.
The vessel is chartered by Blue LNG, a joint venture of the Hamburg-based LNG supplier Nauticor with a 90 percent share and the Lithuanian energy infrastructure provider KN with a 10 percent share.
The construction of the vessel started in 2016 when the joint venture signed a time-charter agreement with shipowner Babcock Schulte Energy. In February 2018, steel cutting took place at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea, and in October 2018 the vessel was delivered by the shipyard.
With a tank capacity of 7,500 cubic meters, Kairos is the world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel. The ice class vessel has several other unique features, including the ballast-free design and installation of a compressed natural gas (CNG) tank to store boil off and flash gas. She has Wärtsilä four-stroke dual-fuel engines and a fuel system that is integrated with the cargo systems, allowing this return gas, which would otherwise be lost during operations, to be collected as CNG, and used as fuel. However, when CNG is not available, LNG can be vaporized and provided as fuel to the engines.
Capable of performing both ship-to-ship bunkering and transshipment operations, she will be used for the LNG fueling of various ships including ferries, container ships, cruise vessels as well as shore-based gas consumers. She is set up to be able to load and offload at any of the current LNG terminals, floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) or floating storage and offloading units (FSUs).
“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,” said CEO of Nauticor, Mahinde Abeynaike. “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.”