Clean-up centre opened

June 5, 2002, 13:30 CEST

A new oil-spill response centre was opened at Statoil’s Mongstad facility north of Bergen today, 5 June, by Norwegian petroleum and energy minister Einar Steensnæs.

Bringing all clean-up equipment under one roof, this building ensures that the port is better placed to prevent and deal with oil spills.

A demonstration of the equipment – including a newly-developed skimmer – was staged after the opening ceremony for Mr Steensnæs, local politicians and other guests.

The Slurpen skimmer collects oil and other pollutants from the sea and shore zone. With a draught of only 1.35 metres, it can work right up to the beach.

Statoil has been actively involved in developing this vessel, which is the first unit of its kind to come into commercial operation.

The new response centre occupies a strategic position alongside the outermost of the two tug jetties at the Port of Mongstad.

A large mobile clean-up barge able to hold up to 2,500 cubic metres of collected oil is also stationed there.

Guests at the opening were also shown the port’s four modern and well-equipped tugs, which provide escort, towing and emergency response services.

The high-speed command vessel Raffen impressed the audience with its two powerful engines and crane.

“This is one of Europe’s busiest oil ports,” comments Nils-Bjørn Jordal, vice president for refining in Statoil.

“It’s also going to be the safest, which is why we’ve built up an extensive oil-spill response with ultra-modern equipment and trained personnel.

“However, the most important job is to implement preventive measures which can ensure that accidents don’t happen.”

Equipment for cleaning up oil spills was previously spread around various parts of the facility. In addition to becoming more easily available, it has been upgraded and supplemented.

Part of the hardware is installed in containers which can be transported by helicopter to the site of a spill.