Three large newbuild gas barges that will operate in the European butane gas trade have joined the INEOS Trading & Shipping fleet
Built in Dutch shipyards, the three self-propelled gas barges are the largest of their kind operating on the Rhine River, and first to be constructed to new standards developed for the international transportation of dangerous goods by inland waterways. The new ADN gas barge 2019 standard was developed by United Nations Economic Committee for Europe Inland Transport Committee.
One of the world’s largest chemical producers, UK-based INEOS said the new barges will enable the efficient and competitive delivery of butane gas from the ARA region (Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam) to the INEOS ethylene cracker facility at Koln, Germany, and, in a wider scope, the capability to effectively trade butane in Europe. INEOS will take delivery of a fourth gas barge from the series later in 2020.
INEOS Trading & Shipping feedstocks trading director Hugh Carmichael said “This supersized delivery is the result of a four-year project to design and build this new class of barge. They have three times the cargo capacity of typical gas barges.”
The build project was managed by Germany’s Imperial Gas Barging, which will also operate the barges on behalf of INEOS.
Primary contractors for the construction were two Dutch shipbuilders. Teamco Shipyard in Heusden was responsible for constructing gas barges Aloo and Brinjal, each with an overall length 110 m and beam of 15 m, with six cargo tanks with a total capacity of 4,446 m3. Hull construction was subcontracted to Rensen-Driessen Shipbuilding of the Netherlands, with completion by Poland’s Stocznia Sp Zoo Shipyard. The construction was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The other primary contractor, Veka Shipbuilding Group in Werkendam, completed Onion which has an overall length of 110 m and beam of 17.5 m, with six tanks with a total capacity of 5,538 m3.
All of the barges are fitted with gas tanks manufactured by Germany’s Barlage GmbH and have Veth podded propulsion systems.
These gas barges are part of investments by INEOS in supply chain flexibility for its European cracker facilities. INEOS has invested more than US$5Bn into the supply of feedstock ethane from US shale gas, securing the competitiveness of its gas crackers in Europe, located at Grangemouth, UK and Rafnes, Norway.
As part of that effort, INEOS Trading & Shipping already charters eight 27,500 m3 Evergas-operated, Dragon-class ethane carriers for the transatlantic delivery of US ethane to Scotland and Norway.
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