Northstar-bound barge heads for island — again
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The Northstar island-bound barge delayed by a Greenpeace occupation Aug. 7 left Barrow about 7 p.m. Aug. 8 and was scheduled to reach Prudhoe the evening of Aug. 9.
BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. spokesman Ronnie Chappell said the barge was returned to Barrow after it was boarded by Greenpeace activists Aug. 7. It had departed Barrow about 6 hours before the boarding, he said.
Chappell said BP requested the assistance of the North Slope Borough police department in effecting the safe removal of the individuals from the barge.
Greenpeace said Aug. 7 that it was setting up a solar- and wind-powered campaign and communications center on the barge. The organization said that six activists boarded the barge from the Greenpeace vessel MV Arctic Sunrise just after midnight Aug 7. Greenpeace said it is calling on BP to turn the barge around before it reaches the Northstar construction site.
Greenpeace said Aug. 8 that activists occupying the barge were arrested by Alaska State Troopers after a 39-hour occupation. The organization said the “peaceful direct action” follows years of campaigning by the organization to stop the Northstar project.
The barge, which left Anchorage in July, is the first sea lift of two planned for Northstar, and contains quarters and a utility module to be installed on the island this year. A two-barge sea lift is planned to take production modules to the island next year.
Chappell said the boarding had not affected the company’s schedule of work for this year. “We’re still within the window planned for delivery of the barge to the island,” he said.