French cargo containment technology provider GTT has received two orders for the tank designs for four newbuild very large ethane carriers (VLECs) on behalf of an undisclosed shipowner
GTT reported that South Korean shipbuilders Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) will each build two VLECs. Each of the vessels will offer a capacity of 98,000 m3. GTT will design the tanks, which will be fitted with its Mark III membrane containment system. The delivery of the vessels is scheduled for Q2 2022. Designed to be multi-gas units, with the capability to transport ethane and several other types of gas, such as propylene, liquefied petroleum gas and ethylene, the cargo tanks will benefit from the ‘LNG cargo ready’ class notation, offering the possibility to carry LNG in the future.
These VLECs will be second-generation ships which will optimise fuel consumption, reduce the boil-off rate and increase the cargo capacity, according to GTT.
GTT chairman and chief executive Philippe Berterottière said "One year after the orders for six second-generation VLECs by Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical from HHI and SHI, we are pleased to continue this partnership of excellence with these two shipyards. These new orders confirm that GTT’s technologies are the reference solutions for very large ethane carriers.”
VLECs are a relatively recent development, following the growth of global ethane exports. One of the first was Ethane Crystal, ordered by Reliance Industries from SHI as part of a six-vessel series. Other companies such as Pacific Gas have also been adding VLECs to their fleet.