Process barge in place

July 14, 2005, 10:00 CEST

The process plant for the Snøhvit field was berthed in its dock at Melkøya yesterday, 13 July.

"The docking was performed safely and well," reports Egil Gjesteland, who has headed the Snøhvit project.

"This is a result of good planning and good work by all of those involved."

Mr Gjesteland was one of many who watched this event from the mainland and there was an excited atmosphere when the huge 33,000-tonne process plant was slowly winched and lowered into the dock.

The barge which measures 154 by 54 metres carries the process plant which is the heart of the facility for liquefying natural gas from the Snøhvit field. The plant stands 50 metre tall.

The weather forecast at the beginning of this week was not promising, with strong winds expected for several days. However, the weather changed on Tuesday evening and the decision was taken to go ahead with the docking.

"Due to the size of this construction we could not bring the barge-mounted process plant into dock until the wind force was at an acceptable level," says Jan Vesterkjær, head of marine operations for the Snøhvit plant on land.

"Wind direction is also important in an operation of this kind and waves must be minimal."