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Launch of winterised oil skimmer for arctic sea conditions

Norwegian equipment supplier H. Henriksen has developed a winterised version of its standard FoxTail mop skimmer to clean up oil spills, specially modified for use in arctic conditions.

Dubbed Arctic FoxTail, the new equipment is a major redesign of the company’s standard VAB (Vertical Adhesion Band) sorbent mop skimmer with integrated transfer pump, insulated cover and a hydraulic heating system.

The winterised version successfully underwent recent testing on board the vessel Polarsyssel in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, during which it proved capable of stable and continuous operation in sub-zero arctic conditions, reports the company.

The standard FoxTail can operate in temperatures down to -6ºC, it says, while Arctic FoxTail is capable of operation at -21ºC under the same sea temperatures and wind conditions.


A first Arctic FoxTail device is now being delivered to the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA), informs Trygve Egenes, md of Tonsberg-based H. Henriksen.

Development of the winterised skimmer began as part of a programme to enhance Norway’s oil spill preparedness launched by the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (NOFO) and NCA back in 2015.

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