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Eco-friendly ship in the SABIC global supply chain named on Teesside

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LNG Industry,

A new liquefied ethylene gas carrier (LEG) has been named on Teesside.

Operated by German shipping company Hartmann Reederei and GasChem Services, the eco-friendly sea vessel will carry shipments of ethane gas from Houston in the US to SABIC’s cracker at Wilton on Teesside under a long-term time charter.

SABIC recently converted its Teesside cracker during a major investment to enable it to take ethane gas alongside other feedstocks, to make it one of the most flexible and competitive crackers in Europe.

Next to the modification of the cracker itself, the conversion project required the build of a new cryogenic ethane tank and purpose built ships to transfer the ethane from the US Gulf Coast to the UK.

The first born of these ships is the “GasChem Beluga”. She made her maiden voyage from Shanghai through the Panama Canal to Houston in December to mark the official start of the contract-hiring period. The naming ceremony was held to bring good luck to the new ship and those who sail on it.

Built in China, the state-of-the-art ship was designed and developed specifically for SABIC by Hartmann Reederei, in cooperation with engineering consultants HB Hunte Engineering to take advantage of the emerging global ethane trade.

The ship’s innovative design focused on building the Eco Star 36K with ‘svelte’ bow design. The new vessel type differs fundamentally from conventional gas carriers, as its superstructures are located at the bow. This results in an optimised distribution of weight and, therefore, a reduced demand for ballast water – which again leads to a reduced fuel consumption and emissions at the same time. The new ‘svelte’ bow design enables the vessel to improve seakeeping at higher transit speeds and improved fuel efficiency.

The latest generation of the MAN B&W dual fuel 2-stroke engine has high reliability and low fuel consumption with low emissions meeting the requirements of IMO Tier II.

The vessel is able to operate on HFO, MDO and gas oil as well as LNG and is one of the world’s first to operate on ethane.

The design of the ‘Star-Trilobe’ cargo tank presents another world innovation to allow an increase in cargo capacity by nearly 30% leading to reduced shipping costs through higher economies of scale.

The GasChem Beluga – which will be joined by a sister vessel the GasChem Orca in July - marks a new generation of semi-refrigerated ethylene/ethane carriers, designed for environmentally friendly operations with minimum emissions at a maximum of reliability and sea endurance.

The new ships with a cargo capacity of 36 000m³ each for liquefied gas cargoes up to -104°C, will greatly reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and soot particles too by running engines on clean gas.

Mrs Odette Claus, the wife of Frank Claus, Global Director Supply Chain Liquids, officially named the vessel, at a ceremony in Teesport, which was attended by representatives and customers of SABIC and the Hartmann Group together with member of the Tees Shipping community.

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