Navigator Holdings Ltd. announced today that it has signed a long term shipping agreement for one of its 35,000 cubic meter ethylene/ethane capable semi-refrigerated liquefied gas carriers, currently being built at Jiangnan Shipyard, China.
The ten year time charter has been agreed with Borealis, a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers. The charter, which is planned to commence in late 2016, will transport ethane from the Marcus Hook terminal operated by Sunoco Logistics to Borealis’ cracker in Stenungsund, Sweden.
The vessel is one of four state-of-the-art 35,000 cubic meter vessels being built by Navigator. Each vessel will have the versatility to transport the full range of liquefied gases such as propane and butane, as well as petrochemicals including ethylene and ethane, and ammonia. The vessel will be delivered with dual fuel engines, which reduce running costs through optimized propulsion systems, and together with larger carrying capacities, will offer greater economies of scale, increasing competitiveness for the company’s customers, Navigator said.
The 35,000 cubic meter ethylene and ethane carriers were specifically designed in anticipation of large scale exports of ethane becoming available from surplus U.S. shale gas production. This charter reflects the initial demand to transport ethane in such large quantities, facilitating the diversification by international petrochemical companies of their feedstock supplies with low cost U.S. ethane.