After Transport Minister Ian Borg announced in January 2021 that both jack up oil rigs ATWOOD AURORA and ATWOOD BEACON will be removed from Palumbo Malta Shipyards, it was time that both rigs vacate the berth, months after residents and activists protested about the laid up oil rigs. Intervening in the issue, the ombudsman confirmed Palumbo had no right to berth oil rigs in the shipyard but only other type of vessels and said Transport Malta had ordered the oil rigs to be vacated.
First to move was the 2003 built jack up oil rig ENSCO 111 known as ATWOOD BEACON which originally arrived towed by BRODOSPAS BETA and BRODOSPAS SUN back to Monday 15th August 2016. On Tuesday 9th March, 2021 local tugs LIENI, SEA SALVOR and SENGLEA started pulling and rig casted off at 0913 hrs.
The 2008 built offshore supply ship A.H. LIGURIA with her towing bridle was the leading unit.
Within an hour or so towage was done in a partly cloudy day.
The 2008 built offshore supply ship A.H. CAMOGLI was awaiting 1 mile off Grand Harbour, so she could be connected too.
Upon completion voyage to Pula, Croatia started arriving on Monday 15th March, 2021.
Then second rig move, the 2008 built jack up oil rig ENSCO 112 known as ATWOOD AURORA which originally arrived as a deck cargo aboard Dockwise semi submersible heavy lift vessel TREASURE back to Thursday 16th February, 2017 happened on Wednesday 24th March although it was planned for Monday 22nd March but due to strong wind N-NW Force 6-7 it had to be postponed. Once again local tugs LIENI, SEA SALVOR and VITTORIOSA were the assisting tugs with A.H. LIGURIA towing the platform.
Rig Move started at 1145 hrs after tugs were ordered for 1100 hrs.
Tugboat LIENI was released and tugs SEA SALVOR and VITTORIOSA were still connected as stern tugs until the platform is clear from the fairway and connected to the second supply ship.
Around 1445 hrs the A.H. CAMOGLI was connected and started the towing operation to Pula, Croatia where she arrived on Tuesday 30th March, 2021.
And at 1515 hrs tug SEA SALVOR and VITTORIOSA completed the move and returned back to Grand Harbour, Malta.
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Published – Wednesday 31st March, 2021.