KN Translated the First Bulk Bitumen to Tanker

Source: 1/7/2022, Location: Not categorized

At the end of last year, oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal operator KN has successfully transhipped the first bulk bitumen from storage tanks to a tanker after commissioning of storage tanks for handling of a new product – bitumen. The principle of arranging the transhipment of bulk bitumen from storage tanks to a tanker is a novelty in the Port of Klaipeda.

The tanker BITHAV moored at the company’s berth was loaded with almost 5,000 t of bitumen, which is used in construction, road paving.

The project to convert KN’s existing tanks for bitumen loading has been under way for almost a year. This is how long it took for UAB Elektrenu energetikos remontas, which was awarded the contract by KN, to reconstruct two oil product storage tanks and adapt them to bitumen handling. The contractor reconstructed 2 storage tanks of 4,200 m3 each at KN’s Klaipeda terminal and installed two product discharge pumps, which pump hot bitumen from tanker trucks in a closed way into the storage tanks and subsequent loading onto tankers. This is the new way of loading this product onto tankers in the Port of Klaipeda.

Already in autumn, having coordinated and obtained all the necessary environmental permits and prepared a detailed schedule, KN started the operations of the commissioning and adjustment of the bitumen storage tanks, followed by the commercial handling of bitumen.

The bitumen, which has a temperature of around 160–170 °C, was delivered to the KN-operated terminal by tanker trucks. The product was filled into the two refurbished, heated storage tanks and the stockpiled bitumen was successfully transhipped onto the tanker.

According to Mindaugas Navikas, KN Commercial Director, bitumen handling is one of the company’s planned investment projects to increase the efficiency and flexibility of the oil terminal in Klaipeda by adapting the existing infrastructure to the handling of new non-traditional oil and non-oil products. The reconstruction of one of the berths operated by KN is also nearing completion in cooperation with Klaipeda State Seaport Authority (KVJUD). Last year, new marine cargo handling equipment was delivered and its installation started.

“Our aim is to use the infrastructure of the KN Klaipeda Oil Terminal flexibly and to adapt it to the changing market conditions dictated by the reduction of cargo transit through the more traditional logistics chain, i.e. rail-tank-ship. We can see that the export / import window opened by KN is fully beneficial and attractive in terms of creating long term cooperative relationships between businesses operating in domestic and overseas markets. The start of bitumen handling, the new berth with ultra-modern handling equipment will enable us to meet the needs of existing customers, find new customers and guarantee the demand for both traditional oil products and non-traditional, specific cargoes,” comments M. Navikas.

The handling of oil products through KN infrastructure has evolved from 8 types of oil products at the beginning of 2021, to 13 different types of oil products, including 3 types of biofuels (RRME, ethanol, biodiesel), which are today being handled together with bitumen. In 2021, the terminal’s handling of the latter products increased significantly, with as much as 40 % more biofuels being handled in 2021 compared to 2020. In 2021, the total handling of tankers by KN also increased by around 9 %, i.e. a little more than 569, 000 t of oil products were transhipped.

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