The Ineos Intrepid has made a landmark departure, carrying the first shale shipment from the United States to Europe.
The world’s largest LNG multi gas carrier, today left the Markus Hook terminal near Philadelphia bound for Rafnes in Norway carrying 27,500m3 of US shale gas ethane.
Jim Ratcliffe, chairman and founder of Ineos, said: “This is an important day for Ineos and Europe. We know that shale gas economics revitalised US manufacturing and for the first time Europe can access this important energy and raw material source too.”
The voyage marks the first time US shale gas has ever made the 3,8000 mile journey.
The shale gas is cooled to -90ºC (-130ºF) for the trip, which is expected to take up to 10 days.
US shale gas will complement the reducing gas feed from the North Sea, according to the firm.
Ratcliffe said: “Shale gas economics has revitalised US manufacturing. When US shale gas arrives in Europe, it has the potential to do the same for European manufacturing.”
Ineos has built the largest two ethane gas storage tanks in Europe at Rafnes in Norway and Grangemouth in Scotland to store the shale gas.
Ineos will use the ethane from US shale gas in its two gas crackers at Rafnes and Grangemouth, both as a fuel and as a feedstock. It is expected that shipments to Grangemouth will start later this year.
Ratcliffe added: “We are nearing the end of a hugely ambitious project that has taken us five years. I am proud of everyone involved in it and I believe that Ineos is one of very few companies in the world who could have successfully pulled this off. I can’t wait for the Ineos Intrepid to finally get to Norway and complete the job.”