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Statoil contracts for two LNG-fueled tugboats

Statoil has awarded Buksér og Berging a contract for two escort tugboats fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) to service the Kårstø processing plant on behalf of operator Gassco.

These are likely to be the first tugboats in the world to run purely on natural gas. Equipped with first-class oil protection equipment, these tugboats will contribute to safe and efficient maneuvering of the around 600 ships calling at Kårstø every year.

—Åge Opheim, head of the Kårstø gas processing plant

Worth around NOK 900 million (US$156 million), the contract includes a charter of two escort tugboats on a full-time basis and an option to charter a harbor tugboat. The harbor tugboat will be chosen from shipping company Buksér og Berging’s existing fleet of equivalent and relatively new vessels.

The contract is for a period of as many as ten years and includes a ten-year extension option. Start-up is expected to take place in September 2013.

The shipping company will most likely use several sub-suppliers for providing engines and shipping equipment, and the contract spinoffs will therefore add to the actual contract value.

Buksér og Berging is currently on contract with Statoil for tugboats operating at Statoil’s plants at Mongstad and Melkøya.

Statoil is party to the contract, but the service will be related to the Kårstø plant where Gassco is operator. While the tugboats will mainly meet the service needs of the Kårstø plant, Statoil may also use them for services at other locations.

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