UK’s chemicals company INEOS has signed a long-term supply deal to deliver ethane from US shale gas to China, utilizing the world’s largest ethane carrier.
The agreement, reached with SP Chemicals, will involve the construction of a very large ethane carrier (VLEC) which is expected to be delivered in 2019. With a capacity of 95,000 cbm, the ship will be the largest vessel of its kind in the world, according to INEOS.
Starting in 2019, the VLEC will carry the cargo some 18,900 km across the Pacific Ocean to SP Chemicals’ new gas cracker facility, currently under construction in Taixing China. As with the INEOS Dragon ships, the new vessel, featuring type C tanks, will also be operated by Denmark-based Evergas.
To be built in China under the management of the JACCAR Group, the ship will be the first VLEC in the company’s fleet of 23 gas vessels.
“This is another world first for INEOS after importing shale gas to Europe in 2015. By bringing in US ethane from shale gas to China for the first time, we are now leading the way in shipping ethane worldwide to meet the needs of an expanding chemicals sector,” David Thompson, CEO of INEOS Trading & Shipping, said.
Image Courtesy: Evergas