Four new 98,000-cubic-meter Very Large Ethane Carriers (VLECs) ordered by China’s Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical (STL) are to be built to ABS class.
The ethane-fueled VLECs are part of a Phase-2 order from STL and construction will be equally split between South Korean shipnuilders Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries.
ABS was the classification society for the very first order of the six dedicated VLECs by Reliance Industries in 2014. The 87,000-cubic-meter VLECs have been successfully trading and laid the foundation for the next generation of larger VLECs. The Phase-1 order of six VLECs by STL not only had more cargo capacity, but included additional technological advancements such as ethane-fueled engines and the ABS LNG Cargo Ready notation.
“ABS is a world leader in the classification of gas carriers and classes the vast majority of the large ethane carriers built to date, so we are delighted that STL has recognized our experience in this fast growing sector,” said Patrick Janssens, ABS vice president, Global Gas Solutions. “ABS has a proud track record of supporting some of the most innovative gas carrier projects. These latest orders are the next step in continuing that trend.”
“STL is delighted to be working with ABS, drawing on its experience and legacy of leadership in the VLEC sector that will support our Lianyungang petrochemical project by safely transporting ethane from the U.S. to China,” said an executive for STL. “The rapid expansion of our operations requires close partnerships with companies that reflect our own focus on technology innovation and the engineering excellence that supports projects that push the boundaries of complexity and improve the safety of our operations.”