Mumbai, Dec 26 (IANS) Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) Friday said it has signed a long-term agreement with Japan’s biggest shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines for transportation of liquefied ethane from North America to India for an undisclosed amount.
According to the agreement, Mitsui will supervise the construction of six ethane carriers (87,000 cubic metres ships) and also the vessel delivery, and manage the ships.
“Reliance, with this strategic tie-up with Mitsui, has achieved a key milestone for the successful implementation of the ethane import project to feed crackers in India,” the company said in a statement.
Mitsui, in a separate statement, said the very large ethane carriers (VLECs), being built by Samsung Heavy Industries, are expected to be delivered in the last quarter of 2016.
Ethane, a natural gas component, is produced in large volumes in North America because of the shale gas revolution.
The gas is primarily used as a petrochemical feedstock to produce ethylene by steam cracking.
RIL plans to ship 1.5 million tonnes a year of ethane from its US shale joint ventures to its chemical complex in Gujarat.
The firm has two joint ventures (JV) in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale – one with Chevron, in which it has invested $1.7 billion, and the other with Houston-based Carrizo Oil & Gas, in which it has invested $392 million.
It has a third JV, in which it invested $1.5 billion, in Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale with Dallas-based Pioneer Natural Resources.
The Mukesh Ambani-led RIL’ business spans petrochemicals, exploration and production, retail and telecommunications.