KN (AB “Klaipėdos nafta”), the operator of oil products and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, and the German company “Nauticor” have agreed on the sale of KN’s 10% stake in the charter contract of Kairos, the world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel to Nauticor. As a consequence of this transaction, Nauticor will become sole charterer of Kairos.
World’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel Kairos started operations in Q4/2019. Kairos, owned by Babcock Schulte Energy, is chartered by Blue LNG, a joint venture between Nauticor (90%) and KN (10%). The joint venture partners decided to sell transfer KN’s share in Blue LNG to Nauticor. The transfer shall become effective as of September 30th, 2019.
In the Port of Klaipėda, the 117-meter-long vessel, which can carry up to 7.5 thousand m3 of LNG in its two tanks, is used for reloading of LNG from Klaipėda terminal to the LNG Reloading Station situated next to the gates of the port of Klaipėda.
The strategic rationale behind the transaction is to allow Nauticor and KN to optimize each parties operations.
Mindaugas Jusius, CEO of KN, says that several years ago when the agreement on the partnership to charter the vessel Kairos was concluded, 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. There have been new possibilities for LNG transportation emerging in the region recently. This allows us to assure the LNG supply to our customers by using the services of diverse LNG transportation vessels in the region,” says Mr. Jusius and adds that this decision will bring positive economic benefit for the company.
Nauticor CEO Mahinde Abeynaike states: “By having 100% control over Kairos, we will be able to optimize our LNG bunker scheduling schemes and fully focus on our core business. 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.”
The head of KN estimates that there are 7 vessels currently providing LNG transportation services in the region of the Baltic and Northern Seas, and there are two more vessels under construction that are planned to be launched before the middle of this year.
“The emergence of new LNG transportation and bunker vessels enhances the competitiveness and accessibility of the LNG market for the region. This assures more favorable conditions for our company to utilize the LNG infrastructure in Klaipėda in a more efficient way. The possibility to bunker LNG-powered vessels from the LNG Reloading Station and loading small-scale cargoes to vessels and semitrailers assures the extensive LNG supply chain across the whole region thus creating added value for Lithuania,” notes Mr. Jusius.