NOVEMBER 10, 2016 — Classification society ABS confirms that the ABS-classed Ethane Crystal, the world's first Very Large Ethane Carrier (VLEC), has been delivered to India's Reliance Industries Ltd. by shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) of South Korea.
The Ethane Crystal is the first of six VLECs to be delivered with ABS Class through 2017. This state-of-the-art liquefied gas carrier is able to carry cargoes such as ethane and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). With an 87,000 cu,m cargo carrying capacity, the vessel is the first of its kind to be constructed with a specially designed GTT Mark III membrane cargo containment system.
Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) was appointed by Reliance to undertake site supervision of the new builds and is also to be the operator and the ship manager of these vessels.
Ethane Crystal represents a significant step up from the largest ethane carriers delivered to date – the 37,000 cu.m ABS-classed Navigator Aurora and Navigator Eclipse. The VLEC is comparable in size to today's Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) and supports a more efficient operation that helps make large-scale ethane transportation more economically viable.
"Delivering the Ethane Crystal is truly a landmark achievement that has created an entirely new market of shipping liquefied ethane. It is a testament to all stakeholders involved in bringing the project to fruition," says ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. "ABS is proud to have been chosen to class this vessel and to be included as a trusted technical advisor, working alongside the owners, shipyard, designer and port and flag state teams to advance safety throughout the development of the world's largest, purpose-built ethane carrier."
Demand for this vessel and others currently on order is driven by the surplus of ethane produced as a byproduct of shale oil and gas in North America. The Ethane Crystal is intended for trade routes between North America and India, carrying ethane that will be used as feedstock for petrochemical production.
"Ethane Crystal is the world's largest ethane carrier, featuring multi-cargo capability of ethane and LPG based on an eco-friendly design. We are proud to be the builder for Reliance's newbuilding program and believe that Ethane Crystal, successfully delivered on 9 November, will be the vanguard for boosting India's petrochemical industries," said Mr. Mun Keun Ha, EVP-Shipbuilding Drilling Operation, Samsung Heavy Industries. "I deeply appreciate ABS for the dedicated technical support rendered to us during the design and construction stages."
"We are delighted by the partnership with SHI and ABS for designing and building the world's largest ethane carriers, and we are sure that these vessels will prove to be very efficient in the years to come for the benefit of Reliance," said Philippe Berterottière, Chairman and CEO of GTT.
Gross Tonnage： 57,494 tons
Cargo tank： GTT Mark III membrane
Cargo tank capacity： 87,187.367m3(100%)
Main engine： DOOSAN-MAN B&W 6G60ME-C9.5
Speed： 16.75 knots
Shipyard： Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. Geoje Shipyard
Ship management company： MOL Tankship Management Asia Pte. Ltd. (headquarters: Singapore)