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NTC and Sinopec to create China’s first domestic ethylene fleet

14 April 2010
Nanjing Tanker Corporation (NTC), the listed arm of Sinotrans China Yangtze National Shipping Group, has recently signed a joint venture agreement with Sinopec to set up a specialist fleet for shipping ethylene. According to a statement released on 9 April, Nanjing Tanker has a 70 per cent stake in the Rmb150m joint venture, with Sinopec holding the remaining 30 per cent.

China-owned shipping lines do not currently operate any special tankers for transporting ethylene. Until new vessels are constructed, NTC will rely on leased vessels. The first batch of 51 crew members started training in January. NTC and Sinopec are hopeful that the first domestic ethylene shipping line will receive special support from the central government.

Sinopec is the largest manufacturer of ethylene in China and it is investing in new plants such as an 800,000 ton facility in Wuhan. It is estimated that by 2015, China will have the capacity to manufacture 13m tons, second only globally to the US.

NTC’s parent company Sinotrans China Yangtze National Shipping Group is largest barge operator on the Yangtze and one of China’s four major shipping lines. Its subsidiary NTC, listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, transports crude oil and fuel via the Yangtze as well as on the sea. It owned a fleet of 58 vessels worth 1.84m dwt at the end of 2007, but recent aggressive building will see the fleet expanded to 7m dwt.
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