The FSRU Toscana has begun commercial operations off the Italian Coast, on schedule. Before the 288 metre long container ship, turned floating LNG storage platform, could begin operation as a regasification plant, it had to negotiate a perilous journey, being towed from Drydock World in Dubai to the Italian Coast, via the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal, protected by Drum Cussac security specialists.
Drum Cussac’s Chief Operating Officer, David Pickard, said the project was a huge challenge: “The owners of this 100,000 tonnes ground-breaking vessel were very nervous about moving it through the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. The journey involved a 3,000 nautical mile transit, 1,600 nautical miles of it in a high-risk area. It was towed for the entire journey by two tugs, at an average speed of seven knots an hour. Drum Cussac provided unarmed vessel protection personnel on board, and two fast-reaction escort vessels carrying armed personnel, to ensure the platform’s safety. The whole journey was completed without incident.”
The floating platform is now moored 22 kilometres off Italy’s Tuscan coast, and has begun delivering LNG to the mainland via a 36.5 kilometre pipeline, operated and managed by Snam Rete Gas.
The start of commercial operations was preceded by three months of rigorous testing of the platform and pipeline, amid extensive safety and environmental checks.
OLT Offshore LNG Toscana is a joint venture between E.ON Group (46.79%), Iren Group (46.79%), OLT Energy Toscana SpA (3.73%) and Golar Offshore Toscana Limited (2.69%). The company was created specifically for the regasification terminal project.
LNG World News Staff, January 13, 2014; Image: OLT Offshore