Norwegian Government Scraps the Wrecked Frigate Helge Ingstad

helge ingstad
Helge Ingstad awaiting demolition (Forsvarmateriell)

Published Jan 21, 2021 1:49 PM by The Maritime Executive

Norway's defense procurement agency has made arrangements for the demolition of the frigate Helge Ingstad, which collided with a tanker and sank off the Sture oil terminal in November 2018. The Ingstad was refloated six weeks later, and after a thorough survey and study, Norway's navy opted to scrap her rather than attempt a $1.4 billion repair effort. 

Norscrap West AS of Hanøytangen, Norway has been selected for the demolition contract.

"We are satisfied with the conclusion of the contract for the destruction of the frigate Helge Ingstad. We have set strict requirements for the implementation of the destruction, and taken care of both environmental aspects and safety considerations," said the technical director of Forsvarmateriell, Jonny M. Otterlei. 

Rather than receiving a positive return in a demolition sale, the Norwegian government will pay $7.1 million to cover the expense of scrapping the vessel. This will be partially offset by the value of the steel. 

Forsvarmateriell sought a yard in Norway to complete the job due to the severe extent of the damage to the vessel and the need to protect sensitive information about her construction. Defense officials will be on site at the yard during the process.

The frigate will be moved in February and work should be completed by the end of the year.

The Ingstad collided with a tanker off the Sture oil terminal in the Hjeltefjord on November 8, 2018. Despite attempts to keep her afloat, she gradually sank on a rocky, sloping seabed near the terminal. The effort to raise her was slowed by foul weather, and her hull and all ships' systems remained submerged until late February

A preliminary report from Norway's Accident Investigation Board found that a significant share of the fault for the collision lay with the Ingstad's bridge team, which believed that the oncoming tanker was a fixed object. Despite extensive attempts at communication between the tanker, the VTS center and the Ingstad, the frigate's bridge team did not attempt to alter course until they were in extremis. The tanker's bow struck Ingstad amidships on the starboard side, causing extensive damage and flooding.