Photo: Pacific Ineos Belstaff. Source: CSSC

World’s largest ethane carrier officially named in Texas

On 10 February, petrochemical manufacturer Ineos held the naming ceremony for the world’s largest ethane carrier in Houston, Texas, marking the latest milestone in its trading and shipping capabilities expansion.

This very large ethane carrier (VLEC), which was primarily built to transport U.S. ethane both to China and Europe, was named Pacific Ineos Belstaff, after the Ineos-owned Belstaff clothing brand, by Fran Millar, the company’s CEO.

The vessel also has the potential to carry other products such as ethylene and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

David Thompson, CEO of Ineos Trading & Shipping, said that the ceremony is another major milestone in the expansion of Ineos’ shipping and trading capabilities.

“As always at Ineos, we have innovated and invested in the future, so I am delighted that we now operate the world’s largest VLEC and I look forward to this vessel transporting vital feedstocks for years to come“, Thompson added.

Built in Jiangnan, China and operated by Pacific Gas, the Pacific Ineos Belstaff is the first of four 99,000 cmb carriers fitted with type B tanks that allow optimisation of vessel capacity, fitting closely to the external shape of the vessel.

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This VLEC type is classed by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and China Classification Society (CCS), meeting the latest International bulk liquefied gas regulations (IGC), International Maritime Organization (IMO), United States Coast Guard (USCG) and other relevant international rules.

It is made of approximately 18,000 tonnes of steel and 40,000 metres of piping. At 230 metres, it is said to be longer than eight basketball courts.

John Lu, president of Pacific Gas, said: “We are delighted to deliver the Pacific Ineos Belstaff and start serving Ineos’ ground-breaking ethane trading business around the globe. Today (10 February 2022) marks the beginning of a very long journey with our partner Ineos. We will maintain the highest standards for the operation of the vessel and meet the fullest satisfaction of our customers.

With the launch of the Pacific Ineos Belstaff, the Ineos ethane fleet now counts eleven vessels consisting of three VLEC’s and eight ‘dragon’ ships. According to the company, the fourth VLEC is set to launch in spring 2022.

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