Jiangnan Shipyard has received an order from Tianjin Southwest Maritime (TSM) to build two 98,000 cbm very large ethane carriers (VLECs) to ABS class.

The ethane-fuelled VLECs will be chartered to Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical (STL).

These are the final vessels to be ordered under the Phase-2 order of six ships from STL.

To support STL’s facility in Jiangsu province, a total of 12 VLECs, all classed by ABS, were ordered for trade from the US to China.

After the receipt of the latest order, all 14 VLECs are being built to ABS class.

Besides featuring BrilliancE, which is the Type-B cargo containment system developed by Jiangnan, the vessels will also include power take-off systems that will enable main engine energy to be used as shaft generator for electricity production so that SOx emission can be reduced to zero with ethane as fuel mode.

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ABS Global Gas Solutions vice-president Patrick Janssens said: “ABS is proud to play a key role supporting the production of these advanced vessels with Jiangnan’s own BrilliancE cargo tank design.

“We are able to do this both through our deep sector knowledge as the world leader in the classification of gas carriers with the vast majority of the global VLEC fleet and our long-standing relationships with owners, operators, shipyards, and regulators such as the United States Coast Guard.”

TSM spokesperson said: “The latest order for VLECs draws on ABS and Jiangnan’s shared focus on technology innovation and safety and engineering excellence to deliver game-changing new vessels to the market. We are excited at the potential of these new vessels, which it would not have been possible to realise without ABS’ market-leading VLEC experience.”

Jiangnan Shipyard chief of corporate technology Hu Keyi said: “We combined a lot of experience and knowhow from both VLGC hull and nickel steel handling. During the development of the BrilliancE cargo containment system, ABS has provided great support and excellent classification service to Jiangnan to perform a perfect procedure in order to verify all safety features of BrilliancE technology.”

In a separate development, Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has ordered seven 23,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containerships at COSCO shipyards in China. The contract is valued at $1.1bn.

The ships are anticipated to be delivered between Q3 2023 and Q3 2024.

The parent company of OOCL, Orient Overseas (International) Limited (OOIL), signed shipbuilding contracts with Nantong COSCO KHI Ship Engineering and Dalian COSCO KHI Ship Engineering.