The FSRU Toscana, the world’s first-ever floating Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) platform, has begun commercial operations off the coast of Italy, on schedule.
However, before the 288-meter container ship, turned floating LNG storage platform, could begin operation as a regasification plant, it had to negotiate a perilous journey, being towed from Drydock World in Dubai to the Italian Coast, via the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal, protected by Drum Cussac security specialists.
Drum Cussac’s Chief Operating Officer, David Pickard, said the project was a huge challenge: “The owners of this 100,000-metric-tonn groundbreaking vessel were very nervous about moving it through the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. The journey involved a 3,000 nautical mile transit; 1,600 nautical miles of it in a high-risk area. It was towed for the entire journey by two tugs, at an average speed of seven knots an hour. Drum Cussac provided two security escort vessels to ensure the platform’s safety, and the whole journey was completed without incident.”
The floating platform is now moored 22 kilometers off Italy’s Tuscan coast, and has begun delivering LNG to the mainland via a 36.5 kilometer pipeline, operated and managed by Snam Rete Gas.
The start of commercial operations was preceded by three months of rigorous testing of the platform and pipeline, amid extensive safety and environmental checks.
OLT Offshore LNG Toscana is a joint venture between E.ON Group (46.79%), Iren Group (46.79%), OLT Energy Toscana SpA (3.73%) and Golar Offshore Toscana Limited (2.69%). The company was created specifically for the regasification terminal project.
The company announced that the terminal will have a regasification capacity of 3.75 billion cubic meters a year, about four percent of Italian national demand.