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Teekay Offshore’s eco-tankers with VOC technology gets Norwegian funding

Teekay Offshore Partners has secured $165.5m in long term financing from the Norwegian government for four new shuttle tankers which will operate with zero volatile compounds (VOC) emissions.

The shuttle tankers, being built at Samsung Heavy Industries, will all be equipped with a new innovative technology developed by Wärtsilä in cooperation with Teekay, to achieve the zero VOC emissions.

“It is gratifying that this innovative new technology developed in Norway has led to trade. This project includes many Norwegian subcontractors and contributes to the restructuring of the Norwegian economy, value creation as well as keeping employment in Norway,” said Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry.

The $165.5m financing is backed by the Norwegian government, Export Credit Norway and GIEK (Norwegian Guarantee Institute for Export Credits). The financing is part of a larger syndicate involving several commercial banks and a foreign export credit agency. In addition, Enova, which contributes to Norway’s transition towards a low emission society, has granted subsidies of NOK133m ($15.2m) to the four shuttle tankers.

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Back in 2003, Norway had already imposed restrictions on VOC emissions as the environmental impact is significant.

The new VOC recovery system developed by Wärtsilä reduces VOC emissions by up to 100%, converts the emissions into liquid gas, and feeds the gas into a VOC fuel tank as a secondary fuel for the vessels. This provides an annual fuel bunkering reduction of up to 3,000 tonnes of LNG.

Combined with other energy efficiency features of the vessels, the total reduced bunkering requirement and CO2 reduction amounts to 50% compared to the existing fleet. Additionally, NOx and SOx emissions are reduced by more than 80% and 95%, respectively.

The shuttle tankers are scheduled to be delivered in 2019-2020.

Ingvild Saether, president and ceo of Teekay Offshore Group, commented: “These vessels will be the most environmentally friendly shuttle tankers ever built. What makes me particularly proud is that bunkering requirements and CO2 emissions will be reduced by approximately 50%, thereby reducing the environmental footprint of our operations significantly.”

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