Saipem charters Bourbon Mobility vessels to support mega LNG project in Africa

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Bourbon Mobility vessels – the Sirocco FSIV and the Surfer 2609 have been brought on to support Saipem’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) project on the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim field off the coast of Mauritania and Senegal.

The Italian multinational is constructing a mega LNG terminal there.

Bourbon Mobility is a world leader in personnel transportation in the oil and gas industry. This venture represents a brand-new operating area for the company.

According to Bourbon, the Sirocco has the advantage of being a multipurpose vessel, allowing both the management of crew changes and the routing of regular supplies. It has a large deck space, with a 200-tonne capacity and 60 seats for passengers, while maintaining speed and adapting to local maritime conditions.

“As part of its mission, the vessel performs three supply runs a week between [Senegal’s capital] Dakar and the Hub (120 nautical miles from Dakar),” Bourbon said in a release announcing the partnership.

The Surfer 2609, on the other hand, is a 26-meter personnel transport vessel with a 50-seat passenger cabin, that provides two to three runs per week. It reinforces the initial scheme based on the Bourbon Sirocco alone.

Rhodri Williams, project manager at Saipem said. “The flexibility and adaptability demonstrated by Bourbon Mobility’s teams, and in particular the crews of the two vessels, are key to the success of this contract.”

Meanwhile, François Leslé, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bourbon Mobility deemed it “a source of pride” for the company to strengthen its partnership with Saipem on such a key project.

“We are doing everything possible on a daily basis to deliver operational excellence with the highest safety standards, through competent crews and vessels adapted to our client’s needs.”

The Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project is expected to produce some 2.5 million tonnes of LNG annually, with first gas expected in 2023. The project is being operated by BP and is located offshore on the border between Mauritania and Senegal in Africa. The total gas resources in the field are estimated to be around 15 trillion cubic feet.

Bourbon and Saipem both have operations in Guyana. Bourbon established a footing here back in 2019 and by 2021, the French company had six vessels in play, providing marine, logistics and subsea services to Guyana’s deepwater operations.

Saipem is set to deliver a major subsea system for Guyana’s largest oil project – Yellowtail.


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