ECO STAR 36K Liquefied Ethylene Gas Carrier, Germany


ECO STAR 36K Liquefied Ethylene Gas Carrier

Ocean Yield ordered for three ECO STAR 36K Liquefied Ethylene Gas Carriers (LEG) in May 2014. The vessels will be the world's biggest LEG carriers and the first ethane-fuelled ocean going vessels. The eco-friendly gas carriers will be built with an estimated investment of $243m at Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering's Chinese shipyard.

The three LEG carriers are scheduled to be delivered in August, October and December of 2016 respectively.

The vessels will be chartered to the Hartmann Group on a 15-year "hell and high water" bareboat charter with the first ten years at a fixed charter rate and the next five-years at a floating charter rate. Hartmann will further sub-charter the LEG carriers on 10-year charter basis with five one-year options to SABIC Petrochemicals through its division GasChem Services.

Details of the ethane-fuelled carrier vessel

Hartmann Reederei in association with engineering consultants HB Hunte Engineering developed the ECO STAR 36K design. Another Hartmann company, Hartmann Schiffahrt served as the technical lead on the LEGC project.

The carrier features a "Svelte" bow design in which the superstructures will be positioned at the bow, enabling even distribution of weight and reducing the demand for ballast water. The "Svelte" design also ensures the vessel to be stable at higher transit speeds and improves fuel efficiency.


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Design and features of the LEG carriers

The overall length of the ECO STAR 36K ethylene carrier will be 188.3m, and length between perpendiculars will be 178.82m. The vessels will have a moulded breadth of 29m, moulded depth of 17.5m and a design draught of 9.5m. Each gas carrier will have a dead-weight of 21,600t, and cargo storage capacity of 36,0000m³ for liquefied gas cargoes up to -104°C.

The gas carriers will be classified as per Germanischer Lloyd class. They will be fitted with the new C-type form of cargo "STAR-Trilobe"-tank that comprises three cylinders combined into one for increasing the cargo capacity by over 30% in comparison to ships of the same dimension. This improves the reliability and reduces the shipping costs.

The gas plant, integrating components from AC-INOX, will be located behind the superstructure. The vessel will also feature three cargo compressors and six deepwell cargo pumps with a capacity of 500m³/h each.

A pressure swing adsorption (PSA) plant will be used to separate some gases from a mixture of gases under pressure.

Engine and propulsion

The ECO STAR 36K will be powered by a single MAN B&W ME-GI dual fuel 2-stroke engine which meets IMO Tier II emission requirements. The engine will be able to operate on heavy fuel oil (HFO), marine diesel oil (MDO) and marine gas oil. The gas carriers will, however, also use ethane as the propellant fuel.

"The ECO STAR 36K will be powered by a single MAN B&W ME-GI dual fuel 2-stroke engine which meets IMO Tier II emission requirements."

Replacing HFO with ethane reduces bunkering time and saves cost as it is comparatively cheaper than HFO. Moreover, ethane contains almost negligible sulphur and emits 15% to 20% lower carbon dioxide (CO2) and other particulates when compared to HFO. Furthermore, the ethylene carriers will be outfitted to use the boil-off gas from its cargo as fuel.

The MAN Diesel & Turbo engine can be easily switched from gas to diesel and vice-versa immediately. The vessels will be further equipped with four auxiliary engines with a power output of 1,520kW each.

One shaft generator of 2,500kW output is fitted to increase the flexibility of the propulsion system for peak loads. The gas carriers will also be equipped with MAN Kappel propeller with rudder bulb system and a twist-flow rudder for easy manoeuvring.

The propulsion system gives the vessel a service speed of 16.5kt and an operating range of about 10,000nmi.


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