MOSCOW (MRC) -- Anglo-Swiss company Ineos is expected to deliver its first US shale gas shipment into Rafnes, Norway on March 23, according to TPS with reference to shipping sources.
The INEOS Intrepid, the world’s largest LNG multi gas carrier, left the Marcus Hook terminal near Philadelphia on March 9, bound for Rafnes carrying 27,500 cubic meters of US ethane gas.
Ineos said this is the first US shale gas to be shipped to Europe and represents the culmination of a long-term investment by Ineos.
The INEOS Intrepid is one of four specially designed Dragon class ships that will form part of Ineos' fleet of eight of the world’s largest ethane capable carriers. The long-term chartering of these eight Dragon class ships is part of Ineos' investments to bring US shale gas to complement the reducing gas feed from the North Sea.
This fleet of eight ships create a virtual pipeline across the Atlantic by connecting the new 300 mile Mariner East pipeline from the Marcellus shale in Western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook deep water terminal near Philadelphia.
To receive the gas, Ineos has built the largest two ethane gas storage tanks in Europe at Rafnes in Norway and Grangemouth in Scotland. Ineos will use the ethane from US shale gas in its two gas crackers at Rafnes and Grangemouth, both as a fuel and as a feedstock. It is expected that shipments to Grangemouth will start later this year, Ineos said previously.
At Rafnes, Ineos operates the Noretyl cracker with a capacity to produce 570,000 mt/year ethylene and around 80,000 mt/year of propylene, which are used as feedstock for the company’s polypropylene (PP), low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) plants at Bamble.
At Grangemouth, Ineos operates a 1 million mt/year Kinneil Gas (KG) gas cracker using mainly ethane and propane to feed its 330,000 mt/year linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant and 235,000 mt/year PP plant.
As MRC reported earlier, in December 2015, Chinese shipbuilder JHW Engineering & Contracting secured a contract to build four INEOS MAX liquefied ethane/ethylene carriers for Evergas, a Denmark-based owner and operator of gas carriers. Under the terms of the contract, JHW will build four 32,000m INEOS MAX vessels at a selected shipyard in China. The new carriers will feature dual fuel propulsion flexibility that includes liquefied natural gas (LNG) and ethane, besides ballast water treatment system. The carriers will have increased cargo capacity of about 10% when compared to the Dragon series 27,500m class gas carriers currently owned by the operator.
INEOS Group Limited is a privately owned multinational chemicals company consisting of 15 standalone business units, headquartered in Rolle, Switzerland and with its registered office in Lyndhurst, United Kingdom. It is the fourth largest chemicals company in the world measured by revenues (after BASF, Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell) and the largest privately owned company in the United Kingdom.