Mar 01 2018

One-stop-shop for oil spill response

Technologies offered by Framo, Maritime Partner, Norbit Aptomar, and NorLense complement each other perfectly. The Norwegian suppliers have thus come together to create OSVR Group through which they can offer a complete oil spill response solution. Supply vessels not in use can easily be upgraded for new assignments. 

- Our aim is to be a one-stop-shop where we pool our efforts and act as a total systems supplier of safe, highly functional, and well-tested technology.The emergency response equipment has undergone thorough testing and quality assurance drawing on 40 years of oil spill response experience, says Jørgen Brandt Theodorsen, Area Manager, Oil & Gas Pumping Systems, at Framo.

- OSRV offers a package solution that covers everything the customer needs – from detection and containment to recovery of the spill. All conducted with reliable equipment that can handle the challenges if an accident occurs.

Framo, Maritime Partner, Norbit Aptomar, and NorLense have come together to establish the group OSRV (Oil Spill Recovery Vessel) – a “one-stop-shop” for oil spill response. The companies in this Norwegian cluster are all specialists in their particular fields. OSRV is a solution bringing world-leading technologies together. All the Norwegian-manufactured components have a dedicated function to achieve the best result possible. This also allows for conventional supply vessels to be converted to emergency oil-spill response support units.

All the technology just one phone call away

- The customer only has to deal with one of the partners to get access to a complete system that covers everything from A to Z and is fully adapted in terms of functionality, volume, and size, says Roy Arne Nilsen from the international sales team at NorLense. 

This is well-proven equipment that is in use world-wide. Every year, the technology is tested using real oil during the oil-on-water exercise conducted by the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (NOFO).  

Aptomar’s radar can identify and produce an overview of the oil slick, whereas Maritime Partner's powerful, high-speed vessels are perfect for pulling equipment such as booms in place. The oil is contained with booms from NorLense, and is then recovered onto a vessel with the Framo TransRec Oil Skimmer System. 

Improved utilisation of laid-up tonnage

The market for emergency oil-spill response expanded in step with the oil production – until the oil crisis hit. Reduced activity levels in the oil industry also caused an abrupt downturn in shipbuilding, and have sent hundreds of offshore vessels to quay without assignments.

However, the market is again gathering pace. 

When the oil crisis hit, OSRV Group had already delivered the oil spill response solution to over 30 vessels in Brazil alone, and this has provided invaluable insight into how the various systems best interact.

- With our package solution, supply vessels can easily be upgraded and used as part of new emergency response tenders. It is quick and easy for shipowners to convert existing vessels in order to offer new services to oil companies, says Lars Solberg, Sales and Marketing Director at Norbit Aptomar AS.

There has also been an increased focus on costs. Projects are adapted to suit a lower oil price.

– We notice that customers are more conscious that the solutions in which they invest must be robust, and that there are no surprises in terms of maintenance costs, continues Solberg.

Short lead-time on delivery

Going forward, delivery lead-times will be of utmost importance.

– When the assignments start ticking in, getting the mandatory equipment on board could for many become a time-critical issue. At OSVR Group, we will ensure that an emergency oil-spill response system is put in place in time, says Peder Myklebust, Managing Director at the boat-building specialist Maritime Partner.  

By using OSRV Group, the operator is just one phone call away from a complete solution delivered at the right time.

- We operate with a delivery lead-time of a mere 8 weeks for the full package of Norwegian-manufactured, high-quality equipment.

Close dialogue and collaboration between the four manufacturers leave customers with first-class support and quality assurance at every level. 

- Oil spill response is a complex operation, emphasises Solberg from Aptomar. 

- This is a turnkey solution where customers have access to emergency preparedness expertise without themselves having to acquire this. Shipowner receive a complete system tailored to meet mandatory requirements, and can focus on their contracts and assignments instead.


Handling of the equipment requires minimal manpower.

This reduces the need for crew members, is cost-effective for the shipowner, and increases the safety level as there are fewer people involved. Thorough training of operators helps extend the lifespan of the equipment.

- When an accident occurs, oil recovery is a race against the clock. The sooner a spill is detected, the sooner it can be contained and managed. It will then be cheaper and safer to recover the spill as quickly as possible, says Jørgen Brandt Theodorsen from Framo.

In the event of an oil spill, Aptomar's radar performs the difficult initial task of detecting the spill on the surface of the sea. Live data from the infrared sensor technology establish the location of the oil slick, its size, and in what direction it is heading. This provides an overview of the operation and helps decide where to navigate the vessel tasked with the deployment of booms. 

In 20 minutes, one person alone deploys 400 metres of the world’s largest oil spill containment booms.

The offshore booms from NorLense are designed to handle demanding challenges at sea, and Maritime Partner’s high-speed vessels will smoothly and quickly pull the booms into the correct formation to achieve the best containment result possible. Everything is then ready for the Framo recovery system to start the pumps that have the capacity to clean the ocean for up to 400 000 litres of oil per hour – equivalent to 16 large road tankers being emptied of their cargo in 60 minutes.  

Such capacity is paramount in the event of an oil-well blowout – when every minute counts. Water and oil expand when mixed. Similar to a fire, a small oil slick can grow very large if not dealt with at an early stage. This may result in significant costs and environmental damage. 

To avoid that valuable oil recovery time is lost when the supply vessel is full, a tanker can be called in and the oil transferred via Framo’s TransRec system. This also prevents the operation from being interrupted.

Icy and dark conditions are not a challenge either. 

- With increased activity in the north and complete darkness for half the year, it is paramount that our equipment operates as well during night time as in daylight, says Theodorsen.

“Norway in a Nutshell”

OSRV Group offers potential customers a round-trip in Norway, with visits to the suppliers in Bergen (Framo), Ålesund (Maritime Partner), Trondheim (Aptomar), and Lofoten (NorLense).

- This is a unique opportunity for customers to get to know the equipment and check out the production facilities, says Theodorsen.  

Closer to the market

Customers also have the option to lease the equipment from OSVR Group. 

- Leasing is beneficial as is does not impact on the customer’s liquidity. Cash flow can often be a challenge, and leasing allows for vessels to be converted for new opportunities without the same level of funds available, says Roy Arne Nilsen at NorLense. 

The GIEK financing scheme can be used in Brazil, and may also be of help to Norwegian shipowners based abroad. After a long period of inactivity, the market is finally moving again.

- Forecasts for Brazilian projects are positive. A rise in the demand for oil recovery vessels in Brazil is anticipated when oil companies increase their activity in this region. We believe this is a sign of new optimism in the market.

Framo has had an international branch in Rio for many years. NorLense is now following suit with a service department. This local presence makes it even easier for operators and shipowners to get the oil spill response systems in place. 

- We will be in closer contact with our own people, and will be able to accept smaller projects, says Nilsen.

- No job is too small – and no job too big. 



Feb 28 2018

Framo Cargo Pumping Systems on new Maersk LR2 tanker series

The amount of cargo piping and valves will be reduced by around 60 percent with Framo Cargo Pumping Systems compared to what would have been required for a conventional pumproom system.

-  These systems will offer improved vessel utilisation, increased cargo volumes, better fuel economy, improved safety and environmental performance and the benefits of an easy to clean segregated system with a reduced risk of cargo contamination, says Thomas Eide, area manager, marine pumping systems .

The Framo Cargo Pumping Systems will bring big benefits to the LR2 product tanker sector. For this new series of LR2 tankers, all the cargo pumps will be submerged inside the tanks, and the ballast pumps located inside the double-sided ballast tank. 

- This system has allowed the ship’s designers to dispense with the need for a pumproom, creating over 1000 m3 of extra cargo space, boosting capacity by around 1.5% compared with a conventional arrangement, says Thomas Eide, area manager, marine pumping systems, says Eide.

The improved cargo handling performance will mean quicker turnaround times in ports, allowing the ships to transport more tonne-miles of cargo every year and make fewer voyages in ballast.

- As there will be no cargo pipes penetrating the bulkheads, and all pipes and valves will be on deck, a much simpler, and less cluttered tank arrangement is permitted. With just one cargo pump per tank, the flush tank top will be easier to clean and to drain, says Eide.


Aug 31 2017

Framo has won the contract to deliver pump systems to GasLog

Framo has won the contract to deliver pump systems (Sea Water Lift Pumps) for a potential Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) for the shipowner GasLog at Samsung Heavy Industries. 

(Picture: Courtesy of GasLog)

The order was placed shortly after Framo signed a supply agreement for similar pump systems for an FSRUs under construction at the same Korean yard but for shipowner Høegh LNG.

“This represents acknowledgement of our ultra-compact pump concept that is now gaining a solid position on the FSRU market,” confirms Thorbjørn Vågenes, Director Oil and Gas pumping systems in Framo. 

The pump systems are based on thoroughly tested and recognized Framo technology. In comparison with conventional pump systems, Framo's pumps provide significant savings on space and eliminate the need for a separate pump room onboard the ship. Delivery is scheduled for August 2018. 


Jun 13 2017

Framo delivers pumping systems to Höegh LNG

Framo has signed a contract with Höegh LNG for the delivery of pumping systems to their new Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU). The contract is for one unit, with option for three more units which are currently being built at Samsung Heavy Industries in Korea. 

Hoegh Grace

FSRU is a floating processing and terminal facility used when it is not profitable, or for other reasons not practical, to develop onshore terminals. By using an on-board regasification unit, the liquid gas carried by the LNG tanker is converted to gas prior to being brought ashore. This process requires the gas to be heated, and for this heating large quantities of seawater have to be pumped from the ocean. Framo is to install four pumps in each of the vessels which are due to be delivered during the period 2019 to 2021.


– Global demand for energy is on the rise, but in many areas the necessary infrastructure is not in place. FSRU is a highly versatile alternative as a vessel can be moored at any quay and operate as a terminal. Furthermore, the investment costs are significantly lower than for onshore developments, says Thorbjørn Vågenes, Director – Oil & Gas Pumping Systems at Framo AS.

The delivery to Höegh LNG is based on highly recognised Framo technology, which has been used in connection with offshore operations for a number of years. A similar solution was delivered to Shell's floating LNG facility, Prelude FLNG.

These pump systems have improved operating reliability, are lighter, and have fewer components to maintain compared with the conventional pumps most commonly used on board FSRU vessels. The Framo system will also eliminate the need for a separate pump room on the vessels where space often is limited.

– We are using recognized and well-proven Framo technology in a new market where there has been a significant rise in demand the past few years, says Vågenes.

Apr 18 2017

Minister of Petroleum and Energy Visited Framo

Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Søviknes, opened Askøy Business Forum by praising the oil and gas industry.


– The sector has been through a painful restructuring process, and should be given credit for skilful implementation of cost-effectiveness measures. It is a process that has been necessary to improve competitiveness, says Søviknes. 

In his opinion, the industry is now well prepared for an upturn.

– It has been hard for those involved, but we can now see a change for the better. There is clear evidence of this, says Søviknes, but underlines that this is subject to the sector being able to keep its costs down.

The Minister of Petroleum and Energy was also given a guided tour of Askøy, including company visits at One Subsea and Framo. He was impressed with what he saw.

– There is something new to learn during every company visit. I have now had the opportunity to talk with people in production as well as management about what is important in terms of recruitment and also to improve the reputation of the sector. This input is crucial as we have to ensure that the best minds and the most skilled professionals are recruited to the oil and gas industry, says Søviknes.

Recruitment to the sector is a subject in which the minister takes great interest. The message that the oil and gas industry is “on its way out” is without foundation, he feels.

– We will produce oil and gas for many decades to come. It is extremely important that this is communicated in order to encourage recruitment to the sector, says Søviknes, and refers to forecasts showing that oil and gas are still estimated to account for 40 percent of the world’s energy consumption in 2050.

Gathering support
Venue for the Business Forum, which gathered some 50 participants from businesses and authorities in the Bergen region, was Sjølivet – Framo’s new head office at Florvåg. The main purpose of this forum is to gather support for specific projects that will contribute to further development of, and also an increase in, deliveries from industrial enterprises throughout the region. It is organised by Askøy Kommune (local authority) in collaboration with local businesses.


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