SEPTEMBER 17, 2014 — Jaccar Holdings of Luxemburg and Hartmann Group of Leer, Germany, have established a joint venture for the commercial management of ethane carriers.
The new company — United Ethane Carriers or UEC — will be based in Singapore. Its purpose is to develop the ethane business, focusing on marketing, branding and commercial management of ethane carriers internationally.
"We've known each other for a long time now, meaning that we also know and appreciate the other one's strengths," said Jacques de Chateauvieux, CEO of Jaccar Holdings.
"We found that our strengths complement each other very well, particularly in this highly specialized market. UEC provides expertise for our customers' benefit," said Alfred Hartmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Hartmann AG.
UEC's opening project is five Eco Star 85K-vessels These ethane-fueled VLEC-carriers will have a capacity of 85,000 cu.m each, and will be employed on a long term time charter with an undisclosed party. They will thus be substantially larger than the three Eco Star 36K design 36,000 cu.m ethane carriers ordered earlier this year by Norway's Ocean Yield ASA for charter to the Hartmann Group (see earlier story).
During the recent SMM trade fair in Hamburg, Hartmann, Jaccar and H. B. Hunte Engineering signed a letter of intent for the classification of the five Eco Star 85k vessels with DNV GL.
"These vessels will be the largest ethane carriers yet constructed, but it is not only the size, but the technical innovations present in this design that will make these ships a real breakthrough for the industry," said Torsten Schramm, DNV GL Maritime’s COO for Division Germany, Middle East & Asia.
DNV GL noted that the cargo tanks of these five new vessels include another world first – the use of the innovative Star-Tri-Lobe tanks. These consist of three cylinders combined into one. Due to better utilization of the space in the cargo holds, this results in higher efficiency and allows an increase in cargo capacity of nearly 30% over similarly sized vessels with conventional tanks, reducing shipping costs through greater economies of scale.
Evergas (a Jaccar Holdings company) and GasChem Services (a Hartmann Group company) will continue to serve their client relationships independently of the new United Ethane Carriers joint venture.