Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) has commissioned the construction of two sea going gas tankers powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) to transport its olefins products, in anticipation of a European Union directive to drastically reduce sulphur emissions from vessels operating in the North Sea by 2015. Switching to alternative fuels for ships, such as LNG, which is far more environment-friendly than traditional fuel oils is one of the solutions identified to meet the European Union directive.
SABIC’s two gas carriers will be used to transport olefins from a major plant on Teesside, England, to ports in North-West Europe and Scandinavia. SABIC is the first chemical company in the world to order gas carriers running on LNG.
“SABIC feels a strong sense of responsibility towards sustainability and the environment,” says Michel Wintraecken, SABIC Manager Sourcing & Contracting, Supply Chain Chemicals Europe. “This is why we have contracted Dutch company Anthony Veder for the use of two new LNG-powered gas carriers. We signed the basic agreement for the ships in April, construction has already started, and we will take delivery of them in 2014.”
Ships powered by LNG produce no sulphur emissions at all. In addition, carbon dioxide emissions are up to 20% less than with fuel oil and NOx emissions are almost 90% less. “We believe this initiative is the right thing for SABIC to do both from an environmental point of view as well as an economic point of view. The environmental benefits are profound and we also see it as a clear advantage that LNG is a bunker fuel which pricing is disconnected from crude oil,” comments Wintraecken.
Anthony Veder owns and operates a modern, high quality fleet of gas tankers for the transportation of petrochemical, liquefied petroleum and natural gasses, ammonia, and carbon dioxide. “In recent years, we have built up a good deal of experience with LNG-powered ships,” says Jan Valkier, CEO of Anthony Veder. “Our fleet is being continuously modernized, renewed and adjusted to comply with regulations, customer requirements and the high standards upheld by the gas industry. We are very pleased to be working together with a company like SABIC in a proactive stance towards the sustainability of commercial shipping.”
SABIC becomes world’s first chemical company to commission LNG-run gas carriers