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Keels laid for Europe's largest butane river tankers

Work has begun on building Europe’s largest butane river tankers at VEKA shipyard in the Netherlands.

The two vessels from a partnership between INEOS Trading & Shipping and Imperial Logistics will measure 110 metres long with a beam of 17.5 metres, and have capacities of 3,024 tonnes of butane carried in six tanks. The barges will have each have three engines.

Around three times the size of typical Rhine River barges they will transport gas from the world’s largest butane tank, currently being constructed at the Oiltanking Antwerp Gas Terminal (OTAGT) in the Port of Antwerp, Belgium, to the INEOS cracker site in Köln, Germany.

Hugh Carmichael, director INEOS Trading & Shipping, said: “INEOS is committed to investing over $1bn in its ethane supply chain from the USA.

“Our new butane tank in Antwerp, together with these massive new river barges, mark the next step in a strategic investment in the future of our naphtha crackers in Cologne. This up-scaled supply system will increase our flexibility and resilience, and position INEOS as a front-runner in the global LPG market.”

Anke Bestmann, director of Imperial Logistics International’s Gas Shipping Business Unit: said: “We are pleased and proud to be INEOS’ partner in this ground-breaking project, and to bring our experience and knowledge to bear on this innovative solution.”

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