Klaipeda LNG terminal; Source: KN Energies

Trio joins hands to boost seafarers’ FSRU and LNG carrier servicing skills

A tripartite agreement to enhance seafarers’ competencies in the servicing, management, and maintenance of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers and floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) has been inked between Lithuania’s energy terminal operator KN Energies, the Lithuanian Maritime Academy (LAJM), and Hoegh LNG Klaipėda, Norway-based technical operator of the FSRU Independence.

Klaipeda LNG terminal; Source: KN Energies

The signatories were Mindaugas Petrauskas, CEO of Hoegh LNG Klaipėda, Vaclav Stankevič, Director of the Lithuanian Maritime Academy (LAJM), and Mindaugas Navikas, Chief Commercial Officer of KN Energies, formerly known as Klaipedos Nafta.

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Stankevič remarked: “This agreement opens the way for students to acquire new professional competences and learn directly from professionals and practitioners. I believe that this cooperation will increase the attractiveness of maritime studies and give a new impetus to the development of maritime training in Lithuania, and more and more young people will have new and attractive career prospects.”

Under the agreement, LAJM has committed to fine-tuning maritime study programs so that students can gain more knowledge about the maintenance, management, and servicing of LNG terminals and LNG carriers. The aim is to finish the program update by 2025 when the first students are expected to start their internships.

Petrauskas added: “Understanding the responsibilities of KN associated with taking over the ownership of the LNG vessel and the significance of the LNG terminal for Lithuania, we take our partnership responsibly and are ready to share our experience and competences to help grow the maritime community in Lithuania. Given the growing global network of FSRU and the demand for LNG carrier management and maintenance, I have no doubt that the students will have a wide range of career opportunities not only in Lithuania but also abroad.”

Left to right: Hoegh LNG Klaipėda CEO Mindaugas Petrauskas, Lithuanian Maritime Academy Director Vaclav Stankevič, and KN Energies Chief Commercial Officer Mindaugas Navikas; Source: KN Energies.

In addition, KN Energies and Hoegh LNG Klaipėda agreed to fund paid internships on board the vessel for up to two students lasting up to six months. This includes practical lectures given by seafarers in charge of the Independence terminal, who will introduce students to the specifics of their work and best practices on LNG carriers.

Darius Šilenskis, CEO of KN Energies, which is the operator of the country’s Klaipeda LNG terminal, explained: “LNG terminal with FSRU Independence is critical infrastructure for Lithuania and the region’s energy security and independence. A crucial aspect of ensuring security is the competence and skills of the people who manage and operate this terminal, so the development of competence among the younger generation of seafarers in this specific field is genuinely needed. Experts trained in this area will not only meet the expectations of the maritime community but also enhance Lithuania’s attractiveness and competitiveness as a maritime nation.”

KN Energies intends to cover other costs related to the internships, the amount of which will be determined in line with comparable market levels. In addition, both companies reserve the right to offer employment to the best students, following the completion of their study programs.

“After the government’s decision to register the LNG vessel at the Register of Seagoing Ships of the Republic of Lithuania, a discussion arose in the public and the seafarers’ community about the competences of seafarers and the opportunities for them to work on board the ship. Being a company of strategic importance for the energy security of Lithuania and the surrounding region, KN initiated cooperation in adapting the study programmes of LAJM to the specifics of LNG shipping and providing opportunities for students to do paid internships on the FSRU Independence, which becomes our property at the end of this year,” noted Navikas.

Active since 2014, with commercial activities starting a year later, the Klaipeda terminal is located on Lithuania’s Kiaulės Nugara Island and consists of a permanently moored FSRU called Independence, built by South Korea’s HD Hyundai Heavy Industries, a 450-meter-long berth, a connecting gas pipeline that is almost 18 kilometers long, and a gas metering station.

The terminal, which has secured full occupancy until 2033, recently witnessed the transfer of 105 thousand cubic meters of LNG, said to be a record amount, from the FSRU to the Amur River LNG vessel.

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