COMMERCIAL NEWS — Svitzer wins Gorgon Project LNG Terminal Contract

COMMERCIAL NEWS - Svitzer wins Gorgon Project LNG Terminal Contract

Chevron Australia and Svitzer Australia have signed a contract for state-of-the-art marine services required for the Gorgon Project LNG terminal at Barrow Island, Western Australia.

Svitzer will supply four 33m 80-tonne bollard-pull azimuthing stern drive (ASD) tugs, which it claims will set a new global benchmark in terms of both performance and environmental responsibility.

Svitzer will also supply a pilot boat, a 16m Pantocarere self-righting vessel to be built at Mornington, Victoria, by Hart Marine.

“As the largest maritime employer in Australia, Svitzer will draw on a wealth of knowledge available within the existing business to ensure locally-employed crews are secured and trained to operate these state-of-the-art tugs,” said Svitzer Australia managing director Mark Malone.

“This will include a program to employ and train local indigenous people with an interest in pursuing marine qualifications,” he said.

The tugs are said to be the first of their kind in the world and designed by Svitzer specifically for the Gorgon Project, which operates on a Class A nature reserve. Each vessel has a power management system, enabling power to be stored from the diesel system into batteries. The batteries can in turn be used to either supplement the diesel power or replace it, dramatically reducing carbon emissions and noise.

Unlike conventional tugs, Svitzer says the hybrids can operate on only one engine when lower levels of power are required or exclusively on battery power, while maintaining full steering and manoeuvrability.

According to Svitzer, the tugs have a number of other environmentally-friendly features, including:

* Non-hydraulic deck equipment to ensure no oil or liquid spillage (deck equipment is electric);
* Surfaces finished in a low-sheen paint to reduce water reflection;
* Low-spilling sodium deck lights to reduce water penetration and disturbance during night operations;
* Fuel tanks protected by a double-wall to buffer against leakage;
* Solar panels for water heating; and,
* Water recycling plant for water used onboard.

Svitzer will soon enter into construction partnership arrangements and select a shipyard where the tugs can be built.

“Svitzer is pleased to set yet another maritime industry benchmark through its involvement with the Gorgon Project,” said Malone.

“The priorities are two-pronged — looking after the environment and providing opportunities for Australian industries.

“Existing relationships with local suppliers will be expanded to ensure further benefit from the project requirements,” he said.

The Gorgon contract will start in 2014 and run for 20 years. Svitzer said it has a well-established presence in WA with harbour-towage operations in Albany, Bunbury, Fremantle, Geraldton, Dampier, Cockatoo Island and Koolan Island.

The Gorgon Project is one of the world’s largest natural gas projects. It is operated by Chevron and is a joint venture of the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (approximately 47 per cent), ExxonMobil (25 per cent), Shell (25 per cent), Osaka Gas (1.25 per cent), Tokyo Gas (1 per cent) and Chubu Electric Power (0.417 per cent).