ABS and AEC Collaborating on Newbuild VLEC Fleet

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Project Will Order the Biggest and Most Advanced Gas Carrier Designs Under Development

ABS and the American Ethane Company (AEC) are collaborating on a next generation fleet of Ultra Large Ethane Carriers (ULEC).

ABS is actively supporting AEC and its shipping project partners, who will build, own and operate a fleet of ULECs to transport 7.2 MTPA of US ethane to China.

“ABS is a world leader in the classification of gas carriers and classes the majority of the large ethane carriers built to date, so it is exciting to be working so closely with AEC, which has done so much to advance the industry,” said Patrick Janssens, ABS Vice President of Global Gas Solutions. “ABS has a proud track record of supporting some of the biggest and most advanced gas carrier projects with a focus on safety and innovation, and this groundbreaking project is the next step in continuing that trend.”

With a capacity of around 150,000m³ each, these gas carriers will be among the biggest and most advanced ethane carriers to be ordered. ABS has been supporting AEC with the technical and regulatory requirements for the VLECs that will supply ethane from the U.S. Gulf Coast to a number of petrochemical facilities in China.

“The American Ethane Company highly appreciates ABS’ contribution to developing a new class of 150,000m³ ethane carriers. The joint effort between China Merchant Group, AEC and ABS means this vessel has incorporated modern technologies such as cargo containment systems, ethane propulsion, and hull design and brings logistics efficiency and cost savings to long-term ethane shipping between the USA and Asia. Approval in Principal of this design by ABS is the first step to further innovations in the industry,” said AEC CEO John Houghtaling.

With six 87,000m³ VLECs that were built with a GTT Mark III cargo containment system at Samsung Heavy Industries for Reliance Industries to carry ethane from the U.S. to India, ABS is the leading class for the biggest VLECs currently in service. Six more 98,000m³ VLECs are currently on order to ABS class.

ABS provides industry leadership, offering guidance in LNG floating structures and systems, gas fuel systems and equipment, gas carriers, and regulatory and statutory requirements. ABS has extensive experience with the full scope of gas-related assets and has been the classification society of choice for some of the most advanced gas carriers in service.

Sea News, September 22