It has been a curious site in Lerwick Harbour all week, but the Chinese heavy lift vessel Xiang Yun Kou has unloaded her cargo – by largely submerging herself in Breiwick .
The huge oil storage tank which Xiang Yun Kou was carrying was towed back to harbour by a team of tugs where final work was to be done at Holmsgarth. With any luck it will be towed to the Solan oilfield west of Shetland by oil and gas company Premier Oil.
The oil tank was preceded to the field by the world’s largest heavy lift vessel Thialf, which had been in Gulberwick, while Xiang Yun Kou will be heading for her next job.
Xiang Yun Kou arrived in Lerwick last weekend and has undergone some repair work while in the port to get it ready for its intended job – the tank has 64 compartments and will be submerged under about about 130m of seawater where it will be a temporary repository for the estimated 42 million barrels of oil in the field, some 60 miles west of Shetland.
Oil is expected to start flowing from Solan in the last quarter of this year.