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- Marianne Henriksen

Successful skimmer tests

The latest tests of its oil skimmer in Norway have brought FORU-Solution of the Netherlands a step closer to making deliveries to the USA.

That is the conclusion drawn by Koos Tamminga and Bert Sibinga, technical vice president and CEO respectively of the innovative Dutch company.

When they leased time at the national centre for testing of oil spill response equipment in June, it represented their third visit to this Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) facility. They were also accompanied this time by an observer and potential customer from Russia.

See more pictures from the test in our Flickr-album.

Valued advisers

Personnel from FORU-Solution worked for more than a week at the test centre. As on previous visits, challenges related to their oil skimmer were identified and corrected. However, the main aim was to conduct specific tests requested by an interested US party ahead of further purchase negotiations.

“When we ran into some challenges, we found that Bjørn Ronny Frost, the NCA’s senior engineer at the centre, had solutions and alternative proposals for us,” says Tamminga. “This allowed us to get through these demanding tests.”

He reports that good results had also been obtained from the company’s visit to the centre in Horten south of Oslo during November 2015, which led in turn to the sale of the first skimmer prototype to Colombia after modifications.

Read more about FORU-Solution’s earlier visit to the NCA centre here.

Tests in waves and currents

 “Our equipment could have been useful in some of the major incidents we’ve seen worldwide,” says Tamminga.

That is because the skimmer can operate in both waves and currents. This ability was checked at the centre during the current tests. See the video here.

“We’ve given our equipment a very robust design,” explains Sibinga. “That means it also works when you’ve launched it on the sea in rough weather.”

Bigger ships need tougher equipment

The two executives add that the increasing size of ships and their cargoes also call for bigger and more robust oil spill recovery systems to be available.

Both make it clear that they would have liked to conduct tests with their recovery equipment during the verification trials conducted annually under the “Oil in Water” programme by the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (Nofo) and the NCA.

Read here about this year’s test activities, where new methods are tested on oil spills in the Norwegian North Sea.

Helping to improve solutions

“I can see that FORU-Solution has benefitted from testing its oil spill equipment with us,” says Steinar Lodve Gyltnes, head of the logistics and technology section at the NCA’s emergency preparedness centre.

“In that way, we’re contributing in line with our vision to developing new and improved oil spill response equipment on a worldwide basis.”

He emphasises that all comments about the test of the skimmer and its capabilities come from FORU-Solutions itself as the developer.

The fact that both Norwegian and international players lease time at the national test centre gives the NCA useful information about what solutions are under development on the world market.

Informing Russian companies

The russian potential customer was a fascinated observer in the test hall during the FORU trials.

“I haven’t seen this place before, and don’t know if we have similar test facilities in Russia,” she says.

Following her visit this summer, she is keen to inform a number of Russian companies about the opportunities for testing oil spill recovery equipment in Norway.

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