Arctic FoxTail passes Svalbard tests
New oil spill response device capable of cleaning up spills in arctic conditions and contributing to Norway’s spill preparedness. Dubbed Arctic FoxTail, the new device is a new winterised version of H Henriksen’s standard Foxtail mop skimmer.
The Norwegian authorities are committed to protect its marine environment and have many years’ experience with oil spill preparedness. Nevertheless, the adoption of new devices and technology are considered crucial to improve arctic marine safety and environmental protection.
As part of its efforts to enhance Norway’s oil spill preparedness, the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (NOFO) and Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) launched its ‘Oil spill Response 2015’, inviting vendors to develop equipment to handle oil spill recovery in arctic conditions. H Henriksen’s Arctic FoxTail proposal was accepted and development of the protype started in 2016.
Filtering out oil spills from the seawater using its sorbent mops, FoxTail VAB is already well known throughout the maritime industry and capable of salvaging large quantities of oil after a spill, without much unnecessary water.
Following recent testing on board MS Polarsyssel in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, H Henriksen released its new device, a major redesign of its standard VAB (Vertical Adhesion Band) model with integrated transfer pump, insulated cover and a hydraulic heating system. During testing, the new device proved capable of stable and continuous operation in sub-zero arctic conditions.
“Operating in the arctic conditions is a challenge in any segment of the maritime industry, as these regions are both inhospitable and environmentally sensitive,” says Trygve Egenes, Managing Director of Tonsberg-based H Henriksen.
The scope of the project was to widen the weather widow in which oil can be taken from the water with skimmers. The old skimmers are very redundant to the sea state and weather and have proven their ability; however, cold weather will reduce their efficiency when ice starts growing on the machines. This ice-growth mainly comes from sea-spray.
The standard FoxTail operates in -6°C, compared to the new Arctic Foxtail which can operate -21°C under the same sea temperature and wind conditions. H Henriksen is now delivering the first Arctic FoxTail to the Norwegian Coastal Administration.
For more information on the Arctic FoxTail, contact
Trygve Egenes, Managing Director of H Henriksen (firstname.lastname@example.org) or
Trond Lindheim., Manager of SpillTech (trond@SpillTech.no)
During testing in Longyearbyen, the new device proved that the weather window have been increased.
“Our new Arctic FoxTail system will help handle oil spill recovery in Arctic conditions. Implementing heat and insulation to the machine and moving the transfer pump to the skimmer allows for stable and continuous operations at considerably lower temperatures compared to the standard Foxtail. Also, the weather window for the use of the vertical adhesive band skimmers has significantly increased. This modification, together with the advantage of the VAB skimmers, makes the Artic FoxTail a useful oil spill response device in arctic conditions.