Six new 87,000 cubic metres capacity very large ethane carriers (VLECs), being built at the Samsung Heavy Industries yard in South Korea, will feature Wärtsilä gas handling systems. Wärtsilä is the market leader in cargo handling technology for gas carriers and has an extensive reference base. The contract was signed in September. There is an option for additional vessels within this series. Deliveries of the Wärtsilä solutions will commence in 2016.
These vessels will be the biggest ethane carriers ever built, and represent a new generation of such vessels mainly transporting ethane as feed stock to the petrochemical industry. The transportation of ethane is a rapidly growing segment of the marine gas carrying business and it is anticipated that the global VLEC fleet will increase significantly during the coming years. Wärtsilä's leading position in gas handling systems is notably enhanced by this trend.