VLEC newbuilds to have Wärtsilä gas handling systems

OCTOBER 13, 2014 — Six new 87,000 cu.m very large ethane carriers (VLECs) ordered by India's Reliance Industries at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea, will feature Wärtsilä gas handling systems. Wärtsilä is a market leader in cargo handling technology for gas carriers and has an extensive reference base.

There is an option for additional vessels within this series. Deliveries of the Wärtsilä solutions will commence in 2016.

In a regulatory filing on July 17, 2014, Samsung said the contract for the six gas carriers was worth $723 million.

These vessels will be the biggest ethane carriers yet built, and are part of a new generation of such vessels mainly transporting ethane as feed stock to the petrochemical industry. The Reliance Industries vessels newbuilds will carry ethane from American shale gas to India to be processed for making plastic. Delivery of the ships will commence at the end of 2016 and is scheduled to be completed in early 2017.

Wärtsilä will supply a complete cargo handling package for each ship. This includes the process and arrangement engineering; the deck tank; all equipment related to the cargo handling; and a purpose-built reliquefaction plant to handle the C-ethane from the American shale gas.

"This is a valuable order and one that again emphasizes Wärtsilä's competences and experience in gas handling systems," says Timo Koponen, Vice President, Flow and Gas Solutions, Wärtsilä Ship Power. "These state-of-the-art ethane carriers require state-of-the-art gas handling systems. Our technology and know-how in this field uniquely positions us to offer the most appropriate solutions for VLEC's, which is an application that is rapidly expanding."

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