Norsk Hydro Signs New Agreement for Three Supply Vessels

Hydro has signed a letter of intent with Farstad Shipping on the use of three supply vessels for Hydro's operations on the Norwegian continental shelf. This will involve building two new vessels. The value of the agreement is around one billion kroner.

The vessels will be the first to incorporate equipment for automatic handling of loading hoses. This will significantly boost safety for the deck crew.

The letter of intent covers charter of the vessel Far Symphony for five years from April 2005 and the two new vessels for ten years from August 2005 and October 2006 respectively.

"This will give us a fleet of modern supply vessels that are able to cover most of the logistics for Hydro's operator activities on the Norwegian continental shelf for many years ahead. The vessels will be built according to the more up-to-date requirements for supply vessels, and will help to ensure a safe, environmentally-friendly supply service for our offshore installations," says Sjur W. Knudsen, who leads Hydro's logistics activities on the Norwegian continental shelf.

In connection with its "Safe Loading" project, Hydro taken the initiative to develop new technology for increasing safety for the deck crew on supply vessels. Crane lifts and the handling of loading hoses for diesel, water and other bulk loads delivered to the platforms involve a safety risk for the deck crews. The new supply vessels will be the first to apply new solutions that are currently being tested. These solutions will significantly improve safety for the deck crews.

Far Symphony is a modern supply vessel that has been contracted by Hydro since it left the ship yard in 2003. The two new vessels will be of the type UT 751 E, which has particularly high capacity both above and below deck. The vessels will be fitted with diesel electric engines with catalyst purification units for exhaust gases. This will give a significant reduction in NOx emissions.

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