In a ceremony held in Geoje (South Korea), Indian’s largest private sector company Reliance Industries Limited (Reliance) inaugurated its very first two VLEC (Very Large Ethane Carrier), in the presence of the shipyard Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and other key partners of the project. These vessels – Ethane Crystal and Ethane Emerald – are the world's first ethane carriers to feature GTT’s membrane technology. They are the first of a series of six vessels, ordered by Reliance in 2014, which will be fitted with GTT's membrane containment systems.
Tanker Ethane Crystal - Image courtesy: lappino/Shipspotting
With a capacity of 87,000 m³, these two vessels are the largest VLEC ever built to date. They will be used to transport liquid ethane from the United States to India. They feature a GTT Mark III Flex membrane containment system which is the key equipment of the vessels.
"We are delighted that SHI and Reliance have placed their trust in GTT to contribute to the building of the world's largest ethane carriers", said Philippe Berterottière, GTT's CEO. "This project demonstrates just how viable GTT's systems are for transporting types of liquefied gas other than LNG. And it heralds the Group's arrival on a new market".
The Mark and NO GTT ranges have been designed to meet all the transport and storage requirements of gases in liquid state, including ethane, ethylene, propane, butane and propylene, all of which have different characteristics in terms of density and temperature. The flexibility and the intrinsic characteristics offered by the GTT membrane solutions allowed this technological leap and that ethane carriers can be reconverted so they can transport LNG.
GTT is resolutely continuing with its efforts to innovate and diversify in order to more effectively meet its clients' requirements in terms of reliability, security and performance, as well as opening up to new markets. Furthermore, the Group has entered into a number of new partnerships in order to bolster its capacity for innovation. One such partnership involves it helping to develop a reservoir to contain liquid argon for the LBNO-DEMO scientific particle physics consortium[*].
*LBNO-DEMO: consortium made up of CERN (European Centre for Nuclear Research) and the Zurich ETH (Zürich Federal Polytechnic)