Kairos is the world’s largest LNG bunker vessel and has been in service delivering bunkers since December 2018. The 7,500 m3 vessel is currently owned by Babcock Schulte Energy, a 50/50 joint venture between Babcock international Group and Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement. It is currently time chartered by Blue LNG, a joint venture held 90% by Nauticor, with the remainder held by Klaipedos Nafta (KN); however, it was recently announced that Nauticor has exercised its option to acquire KN’s stake to gain 100% control.
Kairos can perform both STS bunkering and transhipment operations, providing LNG bunkering for ferries, container ships, cruise ships and land-based gas consumers. Many large roro ferries in the region were early adopters of LNG as a marine fuel. Kairos’ cargo handling and transfer systems can facilitate a variety of operating scenarios, both loading and unloading.
For bunkering, each of the two cargo tanks is provided with a variable speed main pump rated at 575 m³/hr and 260 mlc, and a single-speed auxiliary pump rated at 50 m³/hr and 260 mlc, giving an operational window of 60 m³/hr to 1,250 m³/hr. For bunkering operations, Kairos has two hose-based systems for liquid vapour and nitrogen, one midships and one at the stern (Kairos’ accommodation is at the forward end), each provided with the necessary powered emergency-release couplings, quick-connect disconnects, STS-linked emergency shutdown systems and vessel separation protection systems.
Hose diameters of up to 8” NB (nominal bore) can be accommodated at both midships and stern, and additionally the midships’ hoses are on a hydraulically powered hose reel. Due to the location of the bunkering stations on the ships being provided with LNG as fuel, the stern manifold allows the bunkering operations to be carried out in a safe and efficient manner – not only for the LNG, but also for the safe and secure mooring of Kairos alongside the receiving vessel.
Image Credit: Babcock Schulte Energy