Repairs completed, LNG ship heads to sea

BOSTON – The Catalunya Spirit left its location off the coast of Gloucester, Mass., under its own power Friday night, after the Captain of the Port of Boston lifted the detention order placed when the LNG tanker lost propulsion 35 miles east of Chatham, Mass., early Monday morning.

The 933-foot tanker has been under positive control at the site of the future Neptune Offshore LNG facility off Eastern Point Light since Tuesday while technicians worked nearly around the clock to complete repairs.

At 8:40 p.m., Friday, the Captain of the Port of Boston, Coast Guard Capt. Gail Kulisch, reviewed and approved the final repair certification presented by Lloyd’s Register, an internationally recognized classification society, and the ship’s owner, Teekay Corporation, signaling approval for the LNG tanker to re-enter international service.

After several days of troubleshooting, repair specialists have determined that a malfunctioning boiler feed pump, which supplies water to the main propulsion boilers, was the cause of the Catalunya Spirit’s loss of power and propulsion.

“We are completely satisfied that the Catalunya Spirit is ready to return to service,” said Kulisch, Federal On Scene Coordinator of the Unified Command in charge of the response. “There has been a thorough review of every system on board the ship, and I’m very impressed with the vessel owner’s unprecedented commitment to fixing the problem.”

Coast Guard, state and owner-contracted assets joined forces Monday to respond to the call that the Catalunya Spirit had lost power and was slowly drifting toward George’s Bank off the coast of Cape Cod. Tugs arrived on scene and gained control of the tanker well before it neared the shoals.

“Safety was always our primary concern during this response,” said Kulisch. “The public, the vessel and her crew, and the cargo were never in any danger, and we took every precaution to ensure the situation remained under control.”

The LNG supply for consumer use is adequate, eliminating the need for the Catalunya Spirit to immediately complete its transit to the Everett, Mass., Distrigas facility to offload its cargo, where it is was heading from Trinidad and Tobago when it lost power.

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