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Equinor tests two newbuild LNG-powered shuttle tankers for North Sea operations

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Norwegian energy giant Equinor has announced it is testing two newbuild liquefied natural gas (LNG) -powered shuttle tankers it has chartered for operations in the North Sea.

Equinor is testing both of the vessels near Stavanger to check whether all systems are functioning properly.

The first, Eagle Blane, is owned by Malaysian shipowner AET. The second, Rainbow Spirit, belongs to Teekay’s Altera. Eagle Blane recently conducted its first LNG bunkering in the port of Rotterdam, prior to heading to Amoyfjorden near Stavanger.

Both have an oil vapour recovery plant, which enables them to collect and use liquefied volatile organic compounds, (LVOCs), from the cargo as fuel.

Equinor said: “For when placing large heavy vessels adjacent to giant oil platforms, it’s best to be absolutely sure that, among other things, positioning systems are working properly.”

It added that the testing “is exceeding all of the company’s expectations, especially considering all restrictions on travel, quarantine and obtaining equipment and parts due to the coronavirus pandemic”.

The two vessels are part of a major renewal of Equinor’s fleet as the company pushes towards green shipping and reducing emissions. Equinor has a fleet of more than 150 ships working on the Norwegian continental shelf, including supply, anchor handling and standby vessels.

Elsewhere, the company expects 14 newbuild vessels to join its fleet in 2020, in the North Sea and in Brazil.

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