A Whale Visits Norfolk
On Friday, the world’s largest oil skimmer stopped in Norfolk before heading to the gulf to assist in the clean up effort. Craig Carper reports.
The ship, which has been named “A Whale” is a modified oil tanker owned by TMT, a Taiwanese based shipping company.
Nobu Su, the founder and CEO of TMT decided to convert the vessel just after the spill began in the Gulf of Mexico. These investments were made speculatively without any prior financial commitments from B.P. or the Federal Government.
The vessel is capable of taking in 500,000 barrels of oil a day. To date all other ships in the area have been able to collect a total of 595,000 barrels.
Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton greeted the Vessel and it’s owner on behalf of Governor McDonnell.
Connaughton: We thought it was a great opportunity to showcase this type of technology. Virginia obviously has interest in offshore development and the fact that we have the Virginia Port Authority in the Hampton Roads Region, this all really came together.
While the ship has yet to pass a large-scale test, the modifications are designed to suck in massive amounts of oily water, which will be decanted in huge tanks inside the vessel. Once the oil is separated from the water, it will be transferred to smaller tankers and the filtered water will be flushed into the gulf.
“A Whale” is expected to arrive in the Gulf today to make its first collection attempt.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square