Babcock Schulte Energy’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) feeder and bunker vessel Kairos started its first reload operation in the Lithuanian port of Klaipėda.
The 7,500-cbm bunkering vessel is chartered by Blue LNG, a joint venture between Nauticor with a 90 percent share and Lithuania’s Klaipedos Nafta with a 10 percent share.
Built at the Hyundai Mipo shipyard in South Korea, the ship has started its voyage to Europe in October 2018 and reached Klaipeda during the middle of December.
The new 117-meter-long vessel, in addition to its main purpose, the supply of LNG to different types of marine customers, will be used to load LNG from the FSRU based in the Klaipėda LNG terminal to the onshore LNG reloading station located at the gateway of the Port of Klaipėda.
On Monday, January 7, Kairos started its first reload operation at the Klaipėda terminal.
Kairos is expected to enter the Klaipėda port at least once per two months to perform LNG reloading operations.
For the remaining time the vessel will be used by the German company Nauticor, which is planning to use the vessel to supply LNG to various marine customers as well as LNG terminals in the North Sea and Baltic Sea area.
Kairos is the world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel and has several other unique features, including a ballast-free design and installation of a compressed natural gas tank to store vapour return gas from customer vessels.
Klaipedos Nafta said in its statement that the LNG bunkering and reloading infrastructure will be of high relevance in 2020, when global restrictions will be imposed on emissions of sulphur dioxide from shipping to the atmosphere.
According to the data of the consulting agency DNV GL, there are 132 LNG powered vessels in the world, and the same number has been ordered to be constructed by 2022. The majority of these vessels will operate in the Baltic and the Northern Seas, Klaipedos Nafta notes.