Statoil has awarded Bukser og Berging a contract for two escort tugboats to service the Karsto processing plant on behalf of operator Gassco. The deal secures Karsto new tugboat capacity with innovative technology for more environment-friendly operations. The two escort tugboats will assist the ships calling at Karsto. Fitted with the latest technology available, both tugboats will run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), thereby ensuring more environmentally friendly operation.
“These are likely to be the first tugboats in the world to run purely on natural gas,” says Age Opheim, head of the Karsto gas processing plant. “Equipped with first-class oil protection equipment, these tugboats will contribute to safe and efficient manoeuvring of the around 600 ships calling at Karsto every year.”
Worth around NOK 900 million, the contract includes a charter of two escort tugboats on a full-time basis and an option to charter a harbour tugboat. The harbour tugboat will be chosen from shipping company Bukser og Berging’s existing fleet of equivalent and relatively new vessels. The contract is for a period of as many as ten years and includes a ten-year extension option. Start-up is expected to take place in September 2013.
“These assignments are based on a long-term perspective, which has led to strong interest among suppliers in this segment,” says Gunn Vik, head of operations and maintenance procurements in Statoil. “We are very pleased with having secured a contract that gives us vessels equipped with the latest technology in the field.”
The shipping company will most likely use several sub-suppliers for providing engines and shipping equipment, and the contract spinoffs will therefore add to the actual contract value.
Bukser og Berging is currently on contract with Statoil for tugboats operating at Statoil’s plants at Mongstad and Melkoya. Statoil is party to the contract, but the service will be related to the Karsto plant where Gassco is operator. While the tugboats will mainly meet the service needs of the Karsto plant, Statoil may also use them for services at other locations.