Last week the long-awaited Pieter Schelte, a giant catamaran-like vessel built to remove decommissioned oil platforms from the North Sea, sailed into Rotterdam after a 7-week voyage from the DSME shipyard in South Korea.
In Rotterdam, the Pieter Schelte was moved with the help of two KOTUG International tugs, MV Magic and MV Spirit, to a specially-designed and dredged berth known as Maasvlakte 2 in Alexiahaven, where final assembly will take place.
All photos courtesy KOTUG International B.V.
At 382 meters long and 124 meters wide, the vessel is considered one of the largest ships in the world and probably the most unique. It’s concept – which dates back almost 30 years – is based on two tankers placed side-by-side, with a 122m long by 59m wide slot in the bow where platform topsides weighing up to 48,000 tons will be lifted by horizontally placed lifting beams. At the stern, two tilting lifting beams will then lift steel jackets weighing up to 25,000 tons.
The combination of size and lifting capacity make Pieter Schelte ideal for the removal (and installation) of large steel jacket-based platforms in hostile areas such as the North Sea, where the business of decommissioning aging oil and gas infrastructure is expected to boom over the next few decades.
The vessel is also equipped for laying large pipelines with a capacity that will also make her the world’s largest pipelay vessel.
The Pieter Schelte was commissioned by the specialized offshore pipeline installation and subsea construction company Allseas, whose founder, Edward Heerema, has described the (estimated) $3 billion project as the biggest bet of his career.
The vessel is equipped with a eight diesel generators, providing a total installed power of 95 MW, driving 12 azimuth thrusters for dynamic positioning (DP3) and propulsion, with a maximum speed of 14 knots, according to Allseas. The accommodation has room for up to 571 people in two-berth cabins.
The vessel has been under construction at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering shipyard in Okpo since 2010 (although early construction even began as early as 2007). The concept for the ship first appeared back in 1987.
In Rotterdam, the 65-meter long beams of the topside lift system will be installed. The lifting beams are being constructed in Italy and will be transported by ship to the Netherlands. During the assembly process, KOTUG will continue to deliver towage services of several parts to the vessel.
Offshore operations for the Pieter Schelte are expected to commence in the summer of 2015, according to Allseas.
Allseas is also planning a second, larger ship with a lifting capacity up to 50% greater.
Full Coverage: Giant Pieter Schelte
All photos courtesy KOTUG International B.V. Check them out on Facebook HERE.
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