April 10 - Fairstar Heavy Transport's semi-submersible newbuilding Forte has started its sea trials off the coast of China, under the supervision of Det Norske Veritas (DNV), the ship's Classification Society.

Willem Out, COO of Fairstar, commented from the bridge of the Forte: "I have been in the shipping business for almost 40 years, out of which I have been at sea for over 20 years on many different types of vessels. This is one of my proudest moments at Fairstar and one of the most satisfying for me personally. Our crew onboard the Forte are all full time Fairstar professionals; a combination of veterans from the Fjord and Fjell, as well as a number of newly-hired Dutch mariners and engineers.

 "Our partners at Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) have done an excellent job. They have maintained a disciplined schedule and we are totally satisfied with the design of the ship and the quality of her construction.

We look forward to testing her limits over the next two weeks. After she returns to port, we will begin to prepare for the formal naming ceremony on May 23.

"In July, Forte will be on contract for the next two years in the Gorgon LNG Project. She is scheduled to transport some of the biggest and most valuable modules from Korea to Barrow Island, Australia over the course of our time charter. The Forte will be delivered on time and on budget."

Forte's sister ship, Finesse was launched from the drydock in Qidong on Thursday, April 5. She is scheduled for delivery to Fairstar in late October 2012.