The head of the Suez Canal Authority in Egypt, Osama Rabie, announced Friday that the first crossing of its kind in the history of the canal for a floating unit for the production, processing and storage of liquefied natural gas – Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) – was a resounding success.
ENERGEAN POWER, the latest model of its kind, crossed within the convoy of the south towed with four tugs belonging to the authority and guided by a team comprising a group of senior authority guides and tugboats during its first sea voyage after its inauguration in Singapore, heading to the Mediterranean Sea.
The process of crossing the ENERGEAN POWER unit of EnerGen International marked an unconventional crossing experience, being the largest unit that crossed the canal tugged with a draft of more than 18.5 meters.
A Suez Canal statement said that crossing the unit required complex navigational arrangements and measures over several days.
The statement pointed out that the floating unit is 227 meters long, 59 meters wide, with a total load of 92,680 tons, and a height of 69.5 meters from the water surface.
The unit relies on tugging only to direct and move it, the statement added, which requires taking into account the accuracy in guiding with tugboats and studying the movement and direction of winds and water currents to maintain their position in the middle of the canal during its journey.
The arrangements and procedures for the crossing to the canal began with the request of the shipping agency GULF EGYPT to cross the unit ENERGEAN POWER to the Suez Canal.
Rabie ordered a study of the request by the authority’s navigation experts, and held several meetings at the Naval Simulation and Training Center of the authority, in parallel with the logistical procedures for supplying fuel to the two tugboats of BOSKALIS accompanying the unit.
The crossing inside the canal lasted about 26 hours.
Preparations for the crossing necessitated the work of a set of naval maneuvers to test the appropriate speed and determine the impact of the waves and wind speed, so that the floating unit began crossing at five o’clock in the morning Thursday from the Suez draft until its exit from the canal on Friday at twelve o’clock noon.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm