23rd January 2007, 12:27
HMAS Westralia (ex RFA Appleleaf) has been sold to a Norwegian - USA consortium to be converted into an FPSO vessel (floating production storage & offloading). She will be converted in an Indonesian yard and offered to the oil companies to produce marginal oil fields.
Westralia has been replaced by a larger tanker aquired from a commercial company.
Australian fleet oilers and stores vessels are manned by regular RAN personnel.
24th January 2007, 20:07
I would assume that one of the major drawbacks of Westralia was that she is a single-hull tanker. Do the current regulations allow FPSO vessels to be single-hulled? If so it is another environmental farce!
24th January 2007, 20:30
As far as I'm aware they're exempt because technically they're not seagoing vessels (although they are registered with Lloyds etc). I think there's also something in there about the fact they don't go on 'international' voyages carrying cargo.
Many of the larger single hull tankers (in better nick) are being and have been converted for FPSO work.
As regards the 'Westralia' and the other single hull oilers still in service, they can sail on as long as the Govt concerned wants them to, as the IMO resolution with regards to single hulls does not apply to those engaged in military work. There is an M notice all about it, and basically if you're an MoD ship or on MoD charter all the rules about MARPOL, STCW etc are out the window. Always tends to make for a fun trip!
25th January 2007, 01:17
I'm not quite sure what you mean by "environmental farce" ????
I've worked on 4 FPSOs now and they have all been single hull vessels. They were all insured by either Lloyds or ABS, and subject to their scrutiny and inspection. To my knowledge I dont know of any FPSO being involved in any environmental incident. They are normally secured to permanent moorings usually far from the coast.
With regards to Westralia, the Australian government maintained her in