The Oiltanking Antwerp Gas Terminal (OTAGT) will be receiving in the future “the largest butane river barges ever used in Europe”.
Namely, chemicals company INEOS has signed a contract with logistic firm Imperial Logistics to design the ships.
As informed, the barges will link the butane tank being constructed at OTAGT in the Port of Antwerp with the INEOS site in Cologne.
The new barges will move about 3,000 tons butane each, which is about three times as much as the current barges move on the Rhine system. The shipyards to build the vessels will be selected in the near future and the barges will be operational in 2019, Imperial Logistics said in a statement.
The move will enable one of the largest crackers in Europe to be supplied with large volumes of butane as well as naphtha as a source of feedstock, according to Imperial Logistics.
“The new butane tank in Antwerp and the Imperial butane river barges will provide INEOS with increased flexibility and security of supply,” Hugh Carmichael, Director INEOS Trading & Shipping, commented.
“To design and build the largest butane river barges ever used in Europe is an extraordinary challenge,” Steffen Bauer, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Imperial’s Business Unit Shipping, said.
INEOS has also committed to invest more than USD 1 billion into the supply of ethane from the USA.