Equinor testing new LNG-powered shuttle tankers

Norwegian energy giant Equinor is testing two newbuild liquefied natural gas-powered shuttle tankers it chartered for operations in the North Sea.

The first tanker Eagle Blane is owned by Malaysian shipowner AET, while the second vessel Rainbow Spirit belongs to Teekay’s Altera.

Eagle Blane recently conducted its first LNG bunkering in the port of Rotterdam prior to heading to Amoyfjorden near Stavanger.

Besides LNG, these two vessels also have an oil vapor recovery plant to enable them to collect and use liquefied volatile organic compounds, LVOCs, from the cargo as fuel.

Equinor is now testing both of the vessels near Stavanger to check whether all systems are functioning properly.

“For when placing large heavy vessels adjacent to giant oil platforms, it’s best to be absolutely sure that, among other things, positioning systems are working properly”, the Norwegian company said.

Equinor says the testing is exceeding all of the company’s expectations, especially considering all restrictions on travel, quarantine and obtaining equipment and parts due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rainbow Spirit
Rainbow Spirit (Image: Inger Johanne Stenberg/Equinor)

The two vessels are part of a major renewal of Equinor’s fleet as the company is pushing towards green shipping and reducing emissions.

Equinor has a fleet of more than 150 ships working on the Norwegian continental shelf, including supply, anchor handling and standby vessels.

The company expects 14 newbuild vessels to join its fleet in 2020, mostly in the North Sea and two in Brazil.

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