Photo: Image Courtesy: Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement

Nauticor to Become Sole Charterer of LNG Bunker Vessel Kairos

Germany’s Nauticor is set to become the sole charterer of the world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel, the 7,500 cbm Kairos.

Owned by Babcock Schulte Energy, Kairos is chartered by Blue LNG, a joint venture between Nauticor (90%) and Lithuanian company Klaipėdos Nafta (10%). The partners reached an agreement whereby KN’s share in Blue LNG would be transferred to Nauticor, with effect from September 30, 2019.

The 117-meter-long vessel is used for reloading of LNG from Klaipėda terminal to the LNG reloading station situated next to the gates of the port of Klaipėda.

“By having 100% control over Kairos, we will be able to optimize our LNG bunker scheduling schemes and fully focus on our core business,” Mahinde Abeynaike, Nauticor CEO, said.

“We are looking forward to working closely with KN also in the future to further strengthen the Baltic Sea LNG small scale supply infrastructure. This will be conducted outside today’s joint venture structure and therefore allow both parties to act in a more flexible way,” Abeynaike added.

Mindaugas Jusius, CEO of KN, explained that several years ago when the company decided to enter the charter contract, there was a lack of LNG transportation services in the market.

“Therefore, we decided to become charterers of one of such vessels. At that time, it was the only possibility for KN to assure the full LNG supply chain for its customers,” Jusius added.

The head of KN estimates that there are seven vessels currently providing LNG transportation services in the region of the Baltic and Northern Seas, with two more vessels under construction.

Kairos started operations in the Port of Klaipėda in December 2018. The ice class vessel features the ballast-free design and installation of a CNG tank to store vapour return gas from customer vessels.