Chemical multinational BASF has had its proprietary Elastopor Cryo (Elastopor) technology harnessed to develop a cryogenic insulation system that could be used to transport cryogenic liquid cargo such as liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The system, developed by Shanghai Harvest Insulation Engineering Co., Ltd (Harvest), will be integrated into the first VLEC (very large ethane carrier) to be delivered to Jiangnan shipyard, one of China’s leading shipbuilding companies. 

BASF’s Elastopor technology enables a high degree of insulation capability for vessels even when subject to rough conditions at sea, in addition to allowing the maintenance of specific low-temperature states of liquid cargo during transit. 

Commenting on the partnership, Rohit Ghosh, Business Management Constructions, Asia Pacific, said, “In recent years, the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and LNG industries have been experiencing strong growth, especially with China’s rising demand for clean energy.” 

“The milestone project is another successful collaboration between Harvest, one of China’s largest cryogenic insulation systems service providers, and BASF.” 

The collaboration adds on to a previous agreement signed by the two companies in 2019, which saw BASF providing several solutions for cryogenic applications such as the transport of LNG, LEG, and LPG, and for offshore projects and LNG terminal projects. 

As the largest vessel of its kind in the world, the 230m VLEC has a total volume of 99,000m3 and will be used to load LEG (-104C), LPG (-40C), and other cryogenic liquid cargo.