March 1st 2015; The Inauguration of Pioneering Spirit, The Largest Vessel in the World.

During the 27th &, 28th February and 1st March 2015, Allseas, introduced the largest vessel in the world: the decommissioning, construction & pipe laying vessel: "Pioneering Spirit" to clients, personnel and suppliers.

A large impressive reception area and theatre was constructed to host approximately 1200 guests throughout the three days. Edward Heerema expressed in an excellent speech, what led him to develop this enormous vessel. Decom North Sea Directors were among the invited guests and some of their images captured the scale and extent of the event. Click here to view images.

Vessel Details

Pioneering Spirit is 382 m long and 124 m wide. Positioned at the bow of the vessel is a slot, 122 m long and 59 m wide, where topsides are lifted using eight sets of horizontal lifting beams. Two tilting lift beams, for the installation or removal of jackets, are located at the vessel's stern. The tilting lift beams are also used for regular crane lifts, such as for the installation or removal of modules, bridges etc.

Pioneering Spirit's large ship size gives her a very good wave response behaviour, superior to semi-submersible crane vessels in operational wave conditions; topsides and jackets can be installed and/or removed in significant wave heights of up to 3.5 m.

The vessel is equipped with eight diesel generators, providing a total installed power of 95 MW, driving 12 azimuth thrusters for dynamic
positioning (DP3) and for propulsion. The maximum speed will be 14 knots. The accommodation has room for up to 571 persons in two-berth cabins.

Pioneering Spirit's primary area of focus is the removal (in accordance with OSPAR '98 regulations) of large steel jacket-based platforms in hostile areas such as the North Sea, but also more benign parts of the world. In particular, Pioneering Spirit will target the topsides and jackets that are too heavy, or too large, to be lifted in a single section by crane barges. The primary aim will be for topsides heavier than 10,000 t and jackets higher than 70 m, although smaller platforms can be accommodated equally well.

Allseas has analysed in detail a large number of contemporary platforms to verify the vessel's versatility and to develop viable solutions for lifting and lowering structures onto a cargo barge, transporting structures and skidding them ashore.

Gravity-based topsides, for which the leg spacing fits the slot on the vessel's bow, can be lifted with pods fitted in the clamps of the topsides lift system. Platforms with a leg spacing of up to 58 m can be accommodated. Only a few of the widest gravity-based structures and jackets currently found in the North Sea do not fit Pioneering Spirit's bow slot; the topsides of these platforms can be removed modularly using the tilting lifting beams.

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