SEPTEMBER 1, 2016 — The first of the four Navigator Gas ethane/ethylene midsize vessels, Navigator Aurora, was delivered to Navigator Gas last month by China's Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai.
With a length of 180 m, the newly-built ABS-classed vessel has a carrying capacity of 37,300 cu.m, enabling the vessel to hold up to 20,000 tonnes of ethane/ethylene and making it the largest ethane/ethylene-capable vessel serving the global market.
The vessel is fitted with dual fuel engines that enable the ship to operate on either diesel fuel or LNG, making it capable of meeting the most stringent current and future air emissions requirements.
"We are also very well advanced in the process of adopting the main engines and software to allow the ship to burn ethane (C2) as a third fuel alternative," says Navigator Gas. "This will allow even greater economies for our customers as there is a choice of also using cargo as fuel when carrying ethane, which has only been possible on a small number of vessels in the past.
"The dynamics of the global gas industry demand a commitment to developing novel projects to take advantage of new opportunities," says ABS Executive Vice President of Global Marine Kirsi Tikka. "As a leader in classing the most advanced gas projects in the world, ABS is proud to work with Navigator Gas, Jiangnan Shipyard, and all stakeholders in making the Navigator Aurora a success."
Development of the vessel focused on opportunities arising from shale gas plays in the United States.
She has been chartered for a minimum of 10 years to the European chemical group Borealis for the transport of ethane from the U.S. East Coast to Europe, with commercial operations scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2016.
"In the coming years, we expect to see many more projects being developed to service the expanding gas export market from the United States," says ABS Vice President of Global Gas Solutions Patrick Janssens. "With our experience with the latest technologies for gas carriers and LNG fueled ships, we are well positioned to assist our clients with their new projects. Our strong presence in the US and longstanding history of assisting industry stakeholders with understanding United States Coast Guard regulations make us the obvious choice for companies that need to support vessels operating in U.S. waters."