Process plant arrived in Hammerfest

July 11, 2005, 01:30 CEST

After an 11-day journey from Cadiz in southern Spain, the process plant for the Snøhvit project arrived in Hammerfest today, 11 July.

The world's largest heavy-lift vessel Blue Marlin left Cadiz on 30 June. When it arrived at Hammerfest, the vessel carrying the 33,000-tonne process plant had sailed 2,700 nautical miles (roughly 5,000 kilometres).

Thanks to good weather and moderate waves the sailing went well. Continuous monitoring showed that movements to the plant remained within the specified requirements.

Due to some headwinds the ship could not keep up top speed all the time. But the transportation stayed on schedule.

During the first part of this week the plant will be placed in the prepared dock at the Hammerfest LNG plant on Melkøya.

The timing of the docking is not as critical as previously estimated.

"The barge is somewhat lighter than we had thought," says Jan Vesterkjær, head of marine operations for the Snøhvit plant on land.

"So we can take it into the dock at normal high tide instead of having to wait for the spring tide. That means that we get docking conditions twice a day, but we still depend on good weather."

The plant was built on a barge that floats when it is offloaded from Blue Marlin. The barge will then be manoeuvred into position in front of the dock. When it is to be positioned in the dock, solid winches will be attached to it and six tugboats will steer its course.

The process plant will cool the gas from Snøhvit into liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Europe's first export facility for LNG. Deliveries of LNG from the plant will start on 1 October 2006.