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October 9, 2003

Navion Scandia is one of three ships being fitted with Hamworthy KSE VOC recovery technology

Norwegian oil companies choose Hamworthy KSE VOC-recovery technology

Hamworthy KSE's VOC-recovery technology has been selected by a number of Norwegian oil companies to meet their national authorities' stringent new requirements for the reduction of VOC emissions during offshore loading operations

Hamworthy KSE is to supply three of its volatile organic compound (VOC) recovery plants so that Statoil, in cooperation with other oil companies, can meet Norwegian emission regulations that enter force at the end of 2004. The NOK 230 million contract was awarded to gas-handling system specialist Hamworthy KSE by Norwegian operator Navion AS, with an option for two more.

The Norwegian authorities require that 70 percent of all offshore loading operations have VOC reduction plants in place from 2005. From 2006 this requirement increases to 95 per cent.

Kelvyn Derrick, managing director of the Hamworthy KSE Group said: "This is a great achievement by our Norwegian gas team. Innovative technology has been harnessed to produce a reliable system with lower operating costs and environmental benefits well in excess of the statutory requirements."

Tore Lunde, director of Hamworthy KSE's LNG and VOC business unit, said: "We are committed to developing the best solution for dealing with the harmful effects posed by VOC emissions during offshore loading. We have demonstrated the operational effectiveness of the system through trialing it on board Exxon Mobil's Stena Alexita, and the feedback from the operator has been very good. Our commitment and investment has now been recognized by the VOC Industrial Cooperation, for which Statoil heads the steering committee."

Hamworthy KSE's VOC recovery plant not only meets Norwegian authorities' requirements to remove 78 percent of non-methane VOCs (NMVOCs) but exceeds them by reducing VOC emissions by 100 per cent, including methane.

The VOC recovery plants will be installed on three ships, Navion Scandia, Navion Hispania, and Nordic Stavanger. Work will start immediately, with installation procedures underway on all three vessels by July next year. The three firm contracts will be completed before the end of 2004, and options for a further two vessels are open until the first quarter in 2004.

The system that will be installed is similar to that prototyped on board the 1998-built/127,535 dwt shuttle tanker Stena Alexita. This vessel is on long-term charter in the North Sea to ExxonMobil as part of the Ugland Nordic Shipping fleet of Teekay Shipping Corporation, which also recently acquired Navion.

VOCs emitted from the crude oil during loading are condensed in a process plant and stored in separate tanks on the ship's deck. Emission components such as methane and ethane are burned in a boiler to produce steam for operating the plant, thus reducing running costs for the system. Methane (a major contributor to the 'greenhouse effect') typically accounts for 5 to 30 percent of all VOC emissions. Hamworthy KSE has been granted a patent for this part of the process.