New Ro-Ro facility at Polarbase
Norway’s NorSea Group has revealed plans to construct a new roll-on/roll-off facility at its Polarbase supply facility located at Hammerfest in the far north of Norway. This project is being developed in conjunction with the port authority at Hammerfest and it is designed to improve the flow of cargoes through the port.
The move, which would see the group invest NOK 60 million in the new facility, was made after the country’s oil major Statoil submitted its plan for the development and operation for the Johan Castberg Project in the Barents Sea.
The Johan Castberg project is a major development of an oilfield in these northern waters and it is anticipated that the cargoes required for this development will lead to a significant increase in the cargo flowing through Hammerfest which will be the main port for the support of the project. NorSea currently operate a number of support bases for the offshore industry along the Norwegian coast as well as bases in Denmark and on the East Coast of Scotland.
John Stangeland, the Chief Operating Officer of the NorSea Group commented, “The Johan Castberg decision is an important milestone for our long-term focus in Hammerfest. The decision to go ahead with this project in itself triggers a NOK 60 million investment, which will see us build a new, modern ro-ro structure at Polarbase. In addition to this, we believe the Johan Castberg project will create establishment needs for the wider supplier industry in Hammerfest, and we anticipate that we will make further investment in infrastructure to meet these needs,”
“New ro-ro facilities at the quay will allow for even more efficient loading and unloading work, and the expected further investments will contribute to even better facilities at our supply base going forward,” Ketil Holmgren, the Polarbase Managing Director, said.
Currently Polarbase has a number of quays that allow for the loading and discharge of offshore supply vessels and cargo ships. These operations are done by crane at the quayside and it is anticipated that the ro-ro facility will speed up the delivery of project cargoes involving heavier and larger cargo units. The size and the loading capability of the new ro-ro facility are being finalised and it will be located on the existing land dedicated to the Polarbase where there is considerable space for development.
Currently Polarbase provides the support for the Goliat development in the Barents Sea. With the start of work on the Johan Castberg project the throughput at the facility is likely to at least double and NorSea is looking at developing other aspects of the base to cope with the increased demand. It is anticipated that the addition of the ro-ro facility will require an extra 30 to 40 new staff.
By Dag Pike
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