Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has secured a bid to acquire, build, and operate four 98,000m³ very large ethane carriers (VLECs) for China-based Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical (STL).
The ships will carry ethane from the US Gulf Coast to Shenzhen-listed STL’s facility in Lianyungang, China.
The four VLECs will have dual-fuel ethane propulsion, which will cut down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
EPS CEO Cyril Ducau said: “We are extremely pleased to partner with STL and enter the ethane carrier segment. Both companies share a vision of being the green and technology-driven leaders in our respective industries. This made the negotiations and subsequent agreement an enjoyable and seamless process.
“For EPS, the addition of these four vessels complement our existing and growing mid and large gas carrier fleet. This deal also serves as an example of our commitment to using alternative marine fuels as transitional fuels towards decarbonisation and the preservation of the environment for future generations. This 15-year charter is a major milestone for us that will strengthen our foundation as we grow and diversify our fleet.”
The VLECs will be constructed at South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries.
They are scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2022.
Earlier this month, EPS has chosen GoodFuels for the supply of biofuel bunkers for its 2010-built 47,377 deadweight tonne MR tanker M/T Pacific Beryl.
The bunkering took place on 9 October in Dutch waters and it was in line with EPS’ Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Policy, which calls for the testing and use of several alternative marine fuels to reduce GHG emissions.
EPS was supplied with a residual-fuel equivalent biofuel oil (BFO) by GoodFuels. The BFO’s performance will be tested and analysed on M/T Pacific Beryl, along with other classes of EPS managed ships in the near future.