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Jiangnan Shipyard achieves major VLEC milestone

By WANG YING in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2021-05-13 07:07
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A ceremony is held on Wednesday in Shanghai to celebrate the completion of the world's first B-tank for VLECs. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

Shanghai-based Jiangnan Shipyard, a unit of the world's largest shipbuilder China State Shipbuilding Corp, said it has completed work on the world's first B-tank for 99,000-cubic meter very large ethane carriers (VLEC).

The shipbuilder said that the completion is also a technological milestone and global acceptance of its self-developed Type-B Cargo Containment System called BrilliancE.

"B-tank is regarded as the most important part of a VLEC, and successful completion of the main structure will pave the way for further construction and timely delivery of the first vessel," said Hu Keyi, director of the science and technology committee of Jiangnan Shipyard.

Jiangnan Shipyard, which is one of the best Chinese shipbuilders focusing on design and construction of liquefied gas carriers, plans to use its Type B cargo containment system on four VLECs that are undergoing construction at the shipyard.

"We have established quite a few specialized teams throughout the construction of the first Type-B VLEC, which will effectively support the follow-up construction procedures for the tanks," said Zhou Qinghua, deputy chief technologist for the VLECs.

According to Zhou, the B-tanks require more higher standards than A-tanks in terms of processing methodology, quality control, technical standards, precision in assembling and welding, deformation control, installation among others.

Two B-tanks will be installed in the first VLEC as the No 4 and No 3 tanks in the coming days, while the remaining two tanks are scheduled for installation in June.

"Each VLEC will have four tanks, which can together carry 98,000 cubic meters of ethane," said Ma Jie, chief engineer of Jiangnan Shipyard. The first VLEC is expected to be delivered by the end of the year.

Jiangnan Shipyard is the only Chinese shipbuilder capable of researching and developing, designing and constructing the entire series of liquefied gas vessels. The completion of the first B-tank shows Jiangnan Shipyard's capability of providing reliable and flexible ship construction solutions for transporting chemical raw materials and clean energy applications, said experts.

The research and development and construction of the B-tank has also enhanced Jiangnan Shipyard's global competitiveness and created opportunities for wider application of its Type B cargo containment system.

Eric Kleess, president of Eastern Hemisphere for the American Bureau of Shipping, said he expects huge potential for the cargo containment system. According to Kleess, the containment system can be used on LNG carrier and as fuel tanks in dual-fuel ships like bulk carriers, tankers, or container ships. On Wednesday, ABS gave in-principle approval for the containment system to be used on 79,800 cu m LNG carriers, paving the way for the broader application of the system.

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