Grangemouth petrochemical plant owner Ineos has ordered another two ships to bring shale gas from the US to Europe, as per bbc.com. The two Dragon Class ethane vessels will boost the Ineos fleet to eight. Ineos said the order from Evergas would satisfy demand from its crackers at Grangemouth and Rafnes, Norway, adding that US ethane was vital for the long-term future of the crackers, which it said had relied on “declining and expensive” ethane volumes from the North Sea. The Dragon Class ships are capable of transporting LNG (liquefied natural gas) and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) as well as petrochemical gases including ethylene. They are expected to enter service from 2015, transporting shale gas from the Texas Gulf coast to Scotland and Norway. The first batch of vessels is currently under construction in China.
At Grangemouth, construction of a new ethane import terminal and storage tank is well under way and is expected to be completed in 2016. A new ethane storage tank and terminal are approaching completion at Rafnes and should be fully operational next year, according to Ineos.