Naming ceremony held for eco-friendly ship in the SABIC global supply chain
(L-R)Frank Claus, Odette Claus, Captain Thomas Kunze, Chief Engineer Sven Bjoern Rudolf Wuensche and Alfred Hartmann.
A new liquefied ethylene gas carrier (LEG) that will transport ethane to Wilton Centre tenant SABIC’s cracker has been named.
Operated by German shipping company Hartmann Reederei and GasChem Services, the eco-friendly sea vessel will carry shipments of ethane gas from Houston in the US to SABIC’s cracker at the Wilton site neighbouring the Wilton Centre under a long-term time charter.
The naming ceremony was held to bring good luck to the new ship and those who sail on it.
SABIC recently converted its Teesside cracker during a major investment to enable it to take ethane gas alongside other feedstocks, to make it one of the most flexible and competitive crackers in Europe.
Next to the modification of the cracker itself, the conversion project required the build of a new cryogenic ethane tank and purpose built ships to transfer the ethane from the US Gulf Coast to the UK.
The first born of these ships is the “GasChem Beluga”. She made her maiden voyage from Shanghai through the Panama Canal to Houston in December to mark the official start of the contract-hiring period.
Built in China, the state-of-the-art ship was designed and developed specifically for SABIC by Hartmann Reederei, in cooperation with engineering consultants HB Hunte Engineering to take advantage of the emerging global ethane trade.
The ship’s innovative design focused on building an ‘Eco Star’ gas ship, with hydrodynamic design, high fuel efficiency, low emissions and the flexibility to use a spectrum of fuels in the engines including clean fuels such as ethane and LNG.
The design of the cargo tank presents another world innovation to allow an increase in cargo capacity by nearly 30% leading to reduced shipping costs through higher economies of scale.
The GasChem Beluga – which will be joined by a sister vessel the GasChem Orca in July - marks a new generation of semi-refrigerated ethylene/ethane carriers, designed for environmentally friendly operations with minimum emissions at a maximum of reliability and sea endurance.
The new ships, with a cargo capacity of 36,000m³, will greatly reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and soot particles too by running engines on clean gas.
Mrs Odette Claus, the wife of Frank Claus, Global Director Supply Chain Liquids, officially named the vessel, at a ceremony in Teesport, which was attended by representatives and customers of SABIC and the Hartmann Group together with member of the Tees Shipping community.
Captain Alfred Hartmann, founder of the Hartmann Group said: “We are delighted that SABIC has chosen Hartmann Reederei as a partner in the development of this new type of vessel.
“We are proud of the design, which is unique and highly efficient and to testify our commitment to a sustainable LEG-carrier which is also one of the largest in the world.”
“Whales like Beluga and Orca symbolize a clean environment and therefore the name reflects the ‘green’ concept and technology of the vessels.”
Frank Claus concluded “As a responsible global company, SABIC is committed to providing high-quality, competitively priced products to its customers whilst doing all it reasonably can in order to reduce the environmental impact of its operations,”
“We would like to express our appreciation to all involved, especially the Hartmann and GasChem team for joining SABIC on the journey to deliver on a truly global supply chain.
“Not only have we managed to lever ethane as an advantaged cracker feedstock, we are proud to be one of the first chemical companies in the world to use it as a clean fuel for our highly efficient ships as well.
“Our UK site in Teesside is of strategic importance to SABIC and also from a global supply chain perspective.
“The flexible cracker project will secure the future of the Teesside site to provide continued employment for the broader community for the next few decades ahead.
“These innovative ships illustrate the sustainable future that SABIC wants to help to create.”