Maiden voyage with ethane

August 31, 2000, 10:00 CEST

The first cargo of liquefied ethane from Statoil's Kårstø complex north of Stavanger left on 30 August for Bamble south of Oslo.

Carried by the tanker Pugliola, this 2,600-tonne consignment is the result of test production at Kårstø's new ethane processing facility.

It represents the first shipment of this commodity from one Norwegian industrial plant to another.

Plans call for Clipper Viking and Navion Dania to load ethane a total of twice a week for transport to Norsk Hydro's Bamble petrochemical facility and to the Borealis plant at Stenungsund in Sweden respectively.

Borealis, which is owned 50 per cent by Statoil, will also be taking ethane in Bamble via the Noretyl petrochemical plant.

The ethane will be converted to polyolefins, which are raw materials for plastics production.

It is being separated from the gas arriving at Kårstø by pipeline from such sources as Statoil's Åsgard development in the Norwegian Sea.

In full operation, the new plant will have an annual capacity of 620,000 tonnes. Operated by the Statpipe group, it is owned by the Etanor investment company – which belongs in turn to Statoil, Shell, Hydro, Conoco, Mobil and the state's direct financial interest (SDFI).