EU NAVFOR offers a new kerosene facility in Seychelles to all counter-piracy warshipsOctober 27, 2010 - 15:29
On 21 October, EU NAVFOR signed a contract with the Seychelles Petroleum Company (SEYPEC), agreeing on the establishment of F44 helicopter fuel delivery facilities in Port Victoria (Seychelles), at the disposal of all military counter-piracy warships.
“F44” is a military high flash point kerosene, type aviation turbine fuel, used for military helicopters. Payment of F44 will be covered by the warships’ flag nations, to reimburse EU NAVFOR who will own the fuel in the SEYPEC facility. Therefore, with this new contract, EU NAVFOR is providing all counter-piracy warships in the area the possibility to use SEYPEC facilities in Port Victoria to refuel with F44.
This is a considerable new land-based asset for the warships who until now could only refuel with F44 in Djibouti, which is approximately 1,400 nautical miles away from the Seychelles (equivalent to 2,300 km, or around 4 days of transit by ship).
On 23 October, the HMS MONTROSE, operating under the NATO naval force (Task Force 508), was the first ship to benefit from these facilities with a refuelling in Port-Victoria. On 26 October, the EU NAVFOR French Flagship FS DE GRASSE was the second ship and the first EU NAVFOR warship to use the facilities.
“This new asset will deeply improve the operational capabilities of the counter-piracy naval forces in the Indian Ocean by significantly reducing a logistical constraint for the warships”, explained Major George Wiseman Royal Marines, Logistic expert and Project leader from EU NAVFOR Operational Headquarters (Northwood – UK). “More than a simple fuel facility, it provides greater flexibility and efficiency opportunities to the counter-piracy warships, and thereby the possibility to stay longer at sea to fulfil our mission. This project has been truly collaborative between Seychelles authorities, NATO fuel experts and EU maritime experts.”
Seychelles is already a strong partner for EU NAVFOR. This new capability is making this archipelago a major support base of EU NAVFOR in the south part of the Somali Basin.
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