Monday, February 11, 2019

Largest LNG Bunker Supply Vessel Christened in Hamburg  

Ice Class Ship Makes Gas Refuelling Available in Baltic Sea

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Shipping News Feature GERMANY – Last week Hamburg saw the launching of the world's largest LNG bunker supply vessel as the ice class ship Kairos was christened by Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Federal Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The ceremony took place at the Hamburg Cruise Center Steinwerder, with more than 250 guests witnessing the christening of a ship that, with her 7,500 m3 tank capacity has been a long term project for owners Nauticor.

The ship actually began servicing vessels in Northern Europe in December and the German group, together with main shareholder Linde, aims to control its cryogenic gas supply chain from source to distribution, including the growth area of refuelling ships and, after blessing the vessel and wishing her safe passage and ‘a hand-span of water under the keel’, Mrs Kramp-Karrenbauer said:

“The commissioning of this vessel is not only important for the German shipping industry, but addressing environmental concerns in general and the global move towards more sustainable transport modes at sea.”

Nauticor has chartered the Kairos via the joint venture Blue LNG, in which Nauticor has a 90% share and Lithuanian energy infrastructure provider KN (Klaipedos Nafta) has a 10% share, from the owner Babock Schulte Energy. The ice class vessel has several other unique features, including the ballast-free design and installation of a CNG tank to store vapour return gas from customers’ vessels. Construction started in 2016 and in February 2018, steel cutting took place at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) in Ulsan, South Korea, from where the ship was delivered in October 2018. Mahinde Abeynaike, CEO of Nauticor, reiterated the importance of achieving this important milestone, commenting:

“The christening of the Kairos today here in Hamburg, is the result of several years of thorough preparation by Nauticor’s team and its partners. With the commissioning of the world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel, the availability of LNG as fuel for shipping on a large-scale basis is secured, for example in the Baltic Sea. With shipping companies having access to a fuel that is not only financially attractive, but also environmentally sustainable, people and nature in Northwest Europe will benefit from a substantial reduction of emissions at sea and in port.”

Photo: The Kairos was seen off by a crowd of well-wishers.

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