Updated:6/29/2020

In December 2019, it was announced that the Norwegian Centre for Oil Spill Preparedness and Marine Environment was to establish test facilities at Fiskebøl in Vesterålen.

Is this the future of Fiskebøl? Illustrations of the future test facilities at Fiskebøl were created in connection with the study.

- The establishment of test facilities for oil spill preparedness technology and marine pollution will strengthen research and development in oil spill preparedness technology aimed at activities in icy waters, was the message communicated in the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications’ press release.

Together with the Norwegian Coastal Administration, the Norwegian Centre for Oil Spill Preparedness and Marine Environment investigated the possibilities of establishing the facilities in 2019. The study concluded that it is necessary to establish testing and simulation facilities to strengthen the work on oil spill preparedness and marine pollution.

The agencies are now working on a pilot project for the establishment of a national test centre at Fiskebøl, with the entire world as its catchment area.

- This is great news for us as a centre. We are ready to embark on the task of developing the test centre at Fiskebøl in collaboration with the Norwegian Coastal Administration, says Ann-Helen Ernstsen, CEO.

In December 2019, the then Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Kjell-Børge Freiberg and Secretary of State at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Allan Ellingsen, released the news about the test centre at Fiskebøl. Here together with Fridtjof Wangsvik, Regional Director of the Norwegian Coastal Administration in Nordland and Ann-Helen Ernstsen, CEO of the centre.

Arctic waters and marine pollution

The test centre at Fiskebøl will strengthen research and development in oil spill preparedness technology, for which it is crucial to simulate pollution in icy waters. Increasing activities in the high north mean that there is a need for enhanced oil spill preparedness that can handle Arctic conditions. This necessitates the development of equipment, methodologies and capacity going forward.

The test centre will also be a place for technology and methodology development when it comes to marine litter.

- It is important to us that this will also be a facility for marine pollution, an area in which the centre has a clear mandate, Ann-Helen says.

- The test centre at Fiskebøl strengthens the opportunities to test, improve and develop new equipment and methodologies in oil spill preparedness. It is good to also view this work in the context of marine litter, says Johan Marius Ly, Director of Emergency Response at the Norwegian Coastal Administration.