Reliance Industries Launches First Two VLECs
Indian private sector company Reliance Industries Limited (Reliance) has inaugurated its first two very large ethane carriers (VLEC) in a ceremony held in Geoje, South Korea.
Constructed by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), the 80,000 cbm vessels Ethane Crystal and Ethane Emerald are said to be the largest VLECs ever built to date.
The ships, which feature membrane technology provided by French marine engineering company Gaztransport et Technigaz (GTT), are the first of a series of six vessels ordered by Reliance in 2014, which will be fitted with GTT’s membrane containment systems.
With a market value of USD 97.1 million per ship, according to data provided by VesselsValue, the remaining four carriers are scheduled to join their owner in 2017.
The VLECs will be used to transport liquid ethane from the United States to India.
Earlier this week Reliance said that it signed term loan deals for a total of USD 573 million to partially finance the construction cost of the six vessels.
The loans, which have a tenor of 12 years, comprise of a Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-sure) issued tranche of USD 286.5 million and a commercial tranche of USD 286.5 million.
Reliance Industries Limited said that the loans will be secured by collateral of the company’s VLECs, financed at a debt to equity ration of 80:20.