Snohvit Barge Ready To Go
The barge-mounted production plant for Statoil's Snøhvit project in the Barents Sea was ready to be shipped north from the fabrication yard in southern Spain on June 27th.
It has been placed on the Blue Marlin heavy-lift vessel in preparation for starting its voyage later this week to the Melkøya site outside Hammerfest in northern Norway.
The 33,000-tonne unit represents the heart of Statoil's first and Europe's only export facility for liquefied natural gas (LNG).
"This represents an important milestone for the Snøhvit project and for the group," says Egil Gjesteland, who has headed the development.
"Getting the process plant north, so that we can continue our work at the Hammerfest LNG site on Melkøya, means a lot for us in the project team.
"As the first development project in the Barents Sea, Snøhvit is important for Statoil's future commercial development."
The process plant has been constructed as an integrated unit on a barge with a deck area of 154 by 54 meters – considerably larger than an international football pitch.
Assembled at the Dragados Offshore yard in Cádiz, this structure cast off its moorings and moved from the quay to be lifted onto the world's largest heavy-lift carrier.
It will be secured for the sea voyage before Blue Marlin leaves Spain. The trip to Hammerfest is expected to take just under 14 days.
After its arrival at Melkøya, the huge installation will be moved into a pre-excavated dock as soon as wind and weather conditions permit.
The plant is due to export a total of 5.7 billion cubic meters of LNG annually to the USA and Europe from the autumn of 2006.
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