About 200 attendees were on hand to see Kairos, the world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel, christened in a ceremony at the Port of Hamburg by Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Federal Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union.
The LNG bunker vessel (LNGBV) is time chartered by Blue LNG, a joint venture of Nauticor, which owns a 90% stake, and Lithuanian energy infrastructure provider Klaipedos Nafta. Since its delivery last year, the LNGBV has been operating in the Baltic region serving the Linde/AGA terminal in Nynäshamn and the Klaipėda LNG-fuelling station in Lithuania. Kairos can perform both ship-to-ship bunkering and transhipment operations, providing LNG bunkering for ferries, container ships, cruise ships and shore-based gas consumers.
Nauticor chief executive Mahinde Abeynaike said commissioning Kairos secured the availability of LNG as fuel for shipping on a large-scale basis in the Baltic Sea. “With shipping companies having access to a fuel that is not only financially attractive, but also environmentally sustainable,” said Mr Abeynaike, “people and nature in northwest Europe will benefit from a substantial reduction of emissions at sea and in port.”
Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer, who took over the party leadership from Angela Merkel last December, said Kairos is not only important for the German shipping industry but also addresses “environmental concerns in general and the global move towards more sustainable transport modes at sea.”
Kairos is owned by Babock Schulte Energy, a 50/50 joint venture of the Babock International Group and Bernard Schulte Shipmanagement.
Equipped with a cargo handling and fuelling solution complete with compressed natural gas storage and utilisation capabilities, Kairos eliminates the release of boil-off and flash gas to the atmosphere during normal operations providing an environmentally responsible shipping alternative. The innovative system enables significant reductions in emissions and offers beneficial environmental footprint savings.
Classed by Lloyd’s Register and built by South Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, the ice-class bunker vessel is equipped with two IMO Type C tanks with a total capacity of 7,500 m3. The LNGBV also has a ballast-free design – eliminating the need for ballast water treatment systems.
To cater to a wide range of potential receivers, Kairos has a low-level loading/unloading manifold on the port-side, forward of midships, and a stern offloading manifold, in addition to the conventional port and starboard midships manifolds. The midships and port-side manifold will enable Kairos to load and offload at any of the current LNG terminals, floating storage and regasification units or floating storage and offloading units.