ABS, a leading provider of classification and technical services to the marine and offshore industries, is pleased to announce that the ABS-classed Ethane Crystal, the world’s first Very Large Ethane Carrier (VLEC), has loaded its first shipment of ethane cargo at Enterprise Products Partner’s Morgan’s Point Terminal.
“Loading ethane onto the world’s first VLEC represents a significant milestone for the global gas industry,” says ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. “ABS is proud to have worked alongside all of the stakeholders throughout the design, construction, delivery, and now, during operation of this vessel.”
Delivered in November 2016, the Ethane Crystal is the first of six VLECs that will be delivered with ABS Class through 2017. The second vessel, the Ethane Emerald, was delivered in early December 2016. This state-of-the-art liquefied gas carrier is able to carry cargoes such as ethane and liquefied petroleum gases (LPG). With an 87,000 cbm cargo carrying capacity, the vessel was the first of its kind to be constructed with a specially designed GTT Mark III membrane cargo containment system.
The Ethane Crystal operates on a trade route between North America and India, carrying ethane that will be used as feedstock for petrochemical production. With its global reach and strong presence in the US, ABS is well-positioned to provide support and guidance throughout the vessel’s life.
“Using vessels like this VLEC can help make expansion into new and emerging markets scalable and economical for the entire supply chain,” says ABS Executive Vice President for Global Marine Kirsi Tikka. “As a trusted advisor, ABS provides support to owners and operators throughout the life of their vessels to advance safer and more sustainable shipping.”
Recognizing the changing landscape and increased industry focus on gas, ABS launched its Global Gas Solutions team in 2013 to support industry in developing gas-related projects. A pioneer in classification for the safe transport and handling of gas, ABS classed the world’s first LPG carrier conversion, the first LNG carrier conversion, the Methane Pioneer, in 1959 as well as the first newbuild LNG carrier, Methane Princess, in 1964 and has extensive experience with the full scope of gas-related assets, including many of the most advanced carriers in service. ABS is the industry leader in classification of liquefied gas carriers and maintains the largest global orderbook for the classification of LNG-fueled vessels.