Singapore-based owner Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has won a bid to purchase, build, and operate four 98,000 cu m VLECs for China-based Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical.
The vessels will be built at South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries, and will be chartered to Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical for 15 years upon delivery in the first half of 2022. All four vessels will feature fuel ethane propulsion.
The deal also marks an entry for EPS into the ethane carrier segment.
“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,” said EPS CEO Cyril Ducau.
“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,” Ducau added.
Zhejiang Satellite is building a large chartered VLEC fleet for transporting ethane from the US Gulf Coast to Lianyungang. The company currently has a total of 12 VLECs on the orderbook after it finalised a sale and leaseback deal for six VLECs with MISC in September.