The first of an order of 12 Very Large Ethane Carriers (VLECs) now being built to ABS Class has been delivered to Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical (STL) by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).
The Seri Everest, the largest VLEC ever built with more than 98,000 cbm capacity, is the first of a phase-one order by STL which was subsequently sold to MISC Berhad (MISC). A second phase of the order also includes six vessels, bringing the total to 12, scheduled for trade from the U.S. to China to support STL’s Ethane Cracker facility in Jiangsu province.
This is the first VLEC to be delivered with the LNG Cargo Ready notation that was released by ABS in 2019. The notation provides assurance to owners and charterers that the VLEC can be upgraded to trade LNG cargoes in the future.
“As part of the shale gas revolution, shipping of liquefied ethane is developing into a significant new market. At ABS we have supported this development from the early stages and are happy to see that this leadership role is being recognized in the current VLEC market,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO.
Mr. Yee Yang Chien, President and Group Chief Executive Officer of MISC, said: “We are proud to welcome Seri Everest, our first VLEC into MISC’s existing fleet. With this first delivery, our VLEC has set a new benchmark in the ethane market. Seri Everest has the capacity of transporting large scale ethane over long distance while ensuring the highest level of safety and reliability. We hope to continue to capitalize on this opportunity as we are confident that we will gain a strong foothold to cater to the increasing demand in this niche segment. We are also pleased that Seri Everest is delivered according to schedule amidst the disruption caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“This successful delivery reflects the industry’s resilience in picking up its momentum with the commitment to safety by all parties. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this achievement.”
Hohyun Jeong, SHI Executive Vice President, Engineering Operations, said: “It has big implications to have the VLEC delivered successfully on time during the pandemic as well as the good performance with the newly introduced ABS notation ‘LNG Cargo Ready’ applied. The VLEC has been built with a cargo containment system for dual cargo loading and the cargo handling system can be converted for LNGC at any time, as needed. It has been all thanks to the close cooperation with ABS, STL and MISC working from anywhere, regardless of location, based on non-face-to-face technologies well-prepared in advance.”
ABS is the leader in provision of classification services to VLEC owners. ABS was the classification society of choice for the very first order of the six dedicated VLECs by Reliance Industries in 2014. The 87,000 cbm VLECs have been successfully trading and laid the foundation for the next generation of larger VLECs.