China LNG Shipping, a subsidiary of China Merchants Energy Shipping Co, is interested in adding ethane carriers to its gas carrying fleet.
Namely, the company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with compatriot Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding for the construction of Very Large Ethane Carriers (VLEC), according to the data from Asiasis.
Details on the numbers of ships to be ordered and potential price have not been disclosed.
The company has five LNG carriers in its fleet.
Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding has been active in developing very large ethane carrier designs amid an anticipated increase in demand for different types of liquefied gases.
In December 2017, the shipbuilder won Approval in Principle from the U.S. classification society ABS for a novel VLEC concept.
The VLEC is equipped with a specialized membrane cargo containment system suited to carry liquid gas cargoes such as ethane and propane. Designed with a minimum cargo temperature of -94℃, the concept supports a low cargo boil-off rate.
Distinct features of the design include multiple cargo re-liquefaction lines to liquefy vapor gas, a powerful cargo handling system that maintains a stable tank pressure and a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system that supports compliance with MARPOL Tier III and USCG requirements for non-US Flag vessels operating in the U.S.