CNG Carrier One Step Closer

carrier closer

EnerSea Transport LLC, in association with its maritime partners, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. ("K"Line) and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (HHI), announced that its VOTRANS gas carrier achieved "Class Approval in Principle" (AIP) from ABS (American Bureau of Shipping). This is a major milestone in the companies' ability to deliver compressed natural gas (CNG) through the world's first commercial large scale marine gas transport system of its kind. "Class Approval in Principle is further independent validation of VOTRANS' solid engineering foundation and allows us to launch our industry- leading CNG capabilities," said EnerSea's Managing Director Paul Britton.

This achievement enables EnerSea to commence commercial deployment of its VOTRANS gas transport services to the industry. With U.S. natural gas demand projected to reach 32 trillion cu. ft. by 2020, industry and government alike are seeking innovative solutions. "Undeveloped gas resources in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Canada, Alaska, Trinidad. Venezuela and Colombia are all ideal prospects for helping meet U.S. gas demand using EnerSea's transport services," explained Britton. EnerSea's plans for deployment will enable gas operators to begin shipping these new volumes in early 2007.

EnerSea and its partners recently concluded a comprehensive engineering program that started in June 2002 and culminated with the AIP award for its "V800" class vessel design. The V800 is designed to carry 700 to 800 million cu. ft. (mmcf) of natural gas, depending on the specific gas composition. EnerSea intends to use this vessel to support economic gas transportation services for applications with average supply rates ranging from 300 to 500 mmcf per day to markets up to 2,500 miles away. EnerSea also offers V600 and VI000 vessel classes that will enable the company to support production rates ranging from 150 to 700 mmcf per day over distances up to 3,000 miles.

The ability to safely and efficiently operate and manage gas fleets is of paramount importance to EnerSea. "K"Line joined EnerSea's maritime partnership to support the engineering program and to develop vessel operations procedures. "K"Line will own and operate the initial VOTRANS vessels by way of dedicated time charter agreements.

VOTRANS utilizes EnerSea's patented and proprietary technology with design storage pressures of well under 2,000 psi. EnerSea's team was able to dramatically reduce the thickness and weight of the steel required for the containment system, thus increasing storage efficiency and reducing overall cost. VOTRANS is designed to land natural gas via cost-effective offshore gas ports, thus eliminating the need for expensive new onshore gas terminals which are more difficult to permit and build. Other key participants in EnerSea's engineering program included Paragon Engineering and A.C. McClure Naval Architects, both of which have been involved from the beginning in EnerSea's VOTRANS development.

* EnerSea has developed a range of vessel size classes, including the V600 and VI000 for smaller and larger transport needs, respectively, to provide clients with an optimum gas delivery solution. These vessels may be further tailored to confidently meet a project's unique and demanding transport requirements, such as specific capacity, gas composition, sea state and loading and offloading rates.

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