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Thursday, April 30, 2020 

UK-based mulitinational chemical company Ineos has taken delivery of three new gas barges, which the company says are the largest of their type and the first to be fully built to the latest ADN gas barge 2019 standard.

They will be deployed in transport of butane gas from the ARA (Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam) port area to the Ineos ethylene cracker facility at Koln, Germany. In addition, they will provide INEOS Trading & Shipping with options to effectively trade butane in Europe.

The build project was managed by Imperial Gas Barging, who will also operate the barges on behalf of Ineos. Hugh Carmichael, Feedstocks Trading Director, Ineos Trading & Shipping said: “This supersized delivery is the result of a four-year project to design and build this new class of barge. They have three times the cargo capacity of typical gas barges. We are extremely pleased with the dedication of the Imperial team and the professionalism of the crews. We also were impressed with the focus and cooperation of the two lead shipyards in delivering these sister ships.”

The construction of the barges was split between two Dutch companies: Teamco Shipyard in Heusden, which subcontracted hull construction to Rensen-Driessen Shipbuilding of the Netherlands and had work completed by the partner Stocznia Shipyard; and Veka Shipbuilding Group in Werkendam, which completed all construction in Holland. The gas tanks were manufactured by Barlage GMbH.

The barges use a Veth pod-drive propulsion system, rather than the more usual shafts.

The barges will be named Aloo, Brinjal and Onion, taking their names from the Indian 'Bhaji' theme. The two Teamco-built vessels,  Aloo and Brinjal are 110m long x 15m beam with six cargo tanks holding a combined 4,446m3, while the Veka-built Onion is wider, at 17.5m beam, with tank capacity of 5,538m3. A fourth sister ship is scheduled to be delivered later in 2020.

These barges are part of the ongoing investment being made by Ineos in supply chain flexibility for its European cracker facilities. They build on the US$5bn investment already made in the supply of feedstock ethane from the US, securing the competitiveness of its gas crackers in Europe, located at Grangemouth, UK and Rafnes, Norway.

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