Borealis and IINO Lines ink charter deal for dual-fuel, wind-assisted VLGC

Austrian chemical company Borealis and Japanese shipping company IINO Kaiun Kaisha, Ltd. (IINO Lines) have signed a charter agreement for a dual-fuel liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessel, Oceanus Aurora.


With a cargo tank capacity of 91,000 cbm, this very large gas carrier will transport feedstock – mainly propane and butane – from North America to Borealis crackers and propane dehydrogenation plants in Europe, including Kallo (Belgium), Stenungsund (Sweden), and Porvoo (Finland).

The vessel was ordered from IINO Lines in 2021 and delivered to Borealis on 14 May 2023.

Thanks to its dual-fuel engine, Oceanus Aurora can be powered by either liquefied petroleum gas or low sulphur fuels. The vessel is equipped with a shaft generator motor system for electrical power generation from LPG dual fuel.

The firm expects that this will lower both fuel consumption and emissions, with meaningful reductions in the most common air pollutants from ships, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx), carbon dioxide (CO2), and particulate matter.

The vessel’s environmental footprint is further improved thanks to the installation of an innovative wind propulsion system in the form of two Norsepower Rotorsails.

Related Article

Developed by Norsepower Ltd., these sails are a modern adaption of the Flettner rotating cylinder and scheduled to be installed within 2nd quarter of 2024.

By using modest amounts of electricity to set a deck cylinder in motion, these spinning cylinders, along with the wind, create a ‘Magnus effect’ to generate thrust. By augmenting the main propulsion system, the sails thus could reduce total fuel consumption, emissions, and operating costs.

The LPG dual-fuel vessel was delivered from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd in Korea in March this year.

“It is essential to capitalize on every opportunity to become even more independent and flexible when it comes to transporting cost-competitive feedstock from overseas to our base chemicals operations in Europe,” said Thomas Van De Velde, Borealis Senior Vice President Hydrocarbons & Energy.

“As the second long-term charter for Borealis, the Oceanus Aurora is not only giving us the competitive flexibility, but is also helping us reduce the environmental impact of our own transportation operations in accordance with our strategic Energy & Climate ambitions. This is how we continue to re-invent essentials for more sustainable living.”

“At IINO Lines, we use our six decades of experience and know-how in transporting LPG to make shipping more environmentally sustainable,” stated Ryuichi Osonoe, IINO Lines Senior Managing Executive Officer Management of Gas Carrier.

“We are pleased to have found in Borealis a partner who shares our belief in the power of innovation to reduce environmental impact. This long-term charter is an auspicious start to what we trust will be a long and mutually beneficial partnership.”

This is the second long-term charter signed by Borealis. Earlier on, the firm signed an agreement with Navigator Gas for Navigator Aurora, a dual-fuel medium gas carrier, which has been transporting ethane to Stenungsund since 2016.