The world’s largest maritime vessel: even longer than the Eiffel Tower is high!

The oil rig-removing ship Pioneering Spirit made an impressive arrival in Rotterdam (NL) in the beginning of 2015. It took less than a month for the pipe lay vessel to make the journey from the South Korean shipyard Daewoo from where it had departed at the end of November 2014. With its significant dimensions, the twin-hulled vessel dethrones Allseas “Solitaire” as the world’s largest pipe lay vessel. This 382 x 124m giant is even longer than the Eiffel Tower is high!

The pipe-laying ship will be solving several of the urgent offshore industry issues. The ship’s primary purpose is to be the solution for the removal of large, steel, jacket-based platforms (top sides heavier than 10,000 t and jackets higher than 70 m) in hostile areas such as the North Sea.

Fabrication Glory: Installing and removing offshore oil and gas platforms’ top side constructions and jackets in a single lift

Here at HGG we are thrilled to have formed part of this ambitious project whose first concept drafts date back to 1987. The profiling contractors division of HGG had executed all the pipe cutting (approx. 250 pipes) and weld preparation works for the construction of the ship’s stinger, whose total length (including the transition frame) is 210m or 690ft.

The ship is capable of installing and removing entire top side constructions and jackets of large offshore oil and gas platforms in one single lift. Removing such large jackets in a single lift will eliminate the conventional need for cutting them into smaller sections in order to make it easier to be lifted by crane. The large lifting capacity of the megaship will shift considerable amounts of the offshore work to onshore locations, allowing platform installation and decommissioning to be conducted more safely and cost efficiently on the shore.

Pioneering Spirit remained in the port of Rotterdam for the installation and testing of its main mission equipment. The vessel was anticipated to be ready for offshore operations at the end of 2015.


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