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FEB-I Sea Trial Program Successfully Completed


In mid-April 2022, FLEX-FEB carried out the first part of the comprehensive sea trials program for the FLEXible Filtering Environmental Barge, FEB-I, and in early/mid-June 2022 the last part of the sea trials was carried out, which, like the first part, took place in the shallow waters off Marstal in Southern Denmark with collaboration and professional assistance from “Ærø Søredningsforening” (Ærø Sea Rescue Association).


During the sea trials, FEB-I was towed at varying speeds in fresh winds (6 - 10 m/s) and light sea (0.5 m wave height) with and without oil containment booms on tow. FEB-I managed the sea well at speeds up to 3 knots.


In the operating area, FEB-I was connected to the oil containment booms, and popcorn (instead of oil) was thrown into the sea. The oil containment booms contained the popcorn and led them towards FEB-I where the remote-controlled belt skimmer collected the popcorn from the sea surface. The skimmer was remotely operated from the towing vessel, and thus it was not necessary to have personnel on the barge during the operation.


The tests were performed with three different types of oil containment booms from two of the world's leading suppliers of maritime pollution control equipment, and despite the different properties of the oil containment booms, they all worked with FEB-I, thanks to the special mounting rods that allow the barge and the oil containment booms to move independently in the sea.

FEB-I passed the sea trials well and it was documented that


  • The flexible environmental barge is capable of, in one operation, collect oil-mixed water, filter the oil from, direct the purified water back into the sea and store the oil, until it can be pumped into a tank farm for recycling.

  • Handling the flexible environmental barge does not require any special training. The barge can be quickly rigged and handled by a crew with common seaman background.

  • The flexible environmental barge can be connected to several different types of oil containment booms, and can thus be used together with already available equipment.

  • The response time for the flexible environmental barge is short.


Flexible environmental barges are five times more efficient than comparable, known technology, and flexible environmental barges enable use non-special ships, such as patrol vessels, harbor boats, small tugs, inflatable boats, etc. to solve marine environment protection tasks. The environmental barges can also be used together with the shallow water vessels operated by “Beredskabsstyrelsen” (the Danish Emergency Management Agency).


The draft of the barge is constant and does not increase when it is filled with oil. Thus, the barge is particularly useful in shallow waters, where oil pollution control is a major challenge, as much conventional equipment cannot be used here. The environmental barge is flexible, and capable of collecting other surface waste, and with the environmental barge's permanent deck fitted, the barge may also be used as a work platform in ports.


The overall sea trial program has demonstrated that flexible environmental barges can be deployed quickly, easily and efficiently to counter oil pollution at sea, especially in shallow waters, and that flexible environmental barges provide a cost-effective supplement and or alternative to conventional maritime pollution control equipment.



FEB-I ready for departure from Marstal with DESMI RO-FENCE 600 oil containment booms attached.



The oil containment booms contain the popcorns and leads them towards FEB-I where they are skimmed from the surface. In this scenario, the oil containment booms are coupled to one vessel. When the oil containment booms are connected to two vessels, or anchored, the angle between the two oil containment booms will typically be greater.



FEB-I collects popcorn contained by the oil containment booms



FEB-I towed at a speed of 3 knots with the oil containment booms on tow.



FEB-I towed out of Marstal harbor with lightweight oil containment booms on the deck.



FEB-I with DESMI A-boom lightweight oil containment boom attached and collecting popcorn.



FEB-I with ELASTEC MiniMax oil containment boom attached.



FEB-I towed at a speed of 3 knots with ELASTEC MiniMax oil containment booms on tow.

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