Giant Pieter Schelte Sets Sail for Rotterdam

Mike Schuler
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November 24, 2014

Sea trials. Photo courtesy Allseas

After at least 4 years under construction and decades of planning, the giant Pieter Schelte catamaran has set sail from the shipyard in South Korea for Rotterdam where the final phases of construction will take place.

Measuring 382 meters (1,253 feet) long by a whopping 124 meters wide (407 feet), the Pieter Schelte is arguably one of the biggest ships ever constructed, and perhaps the undisputed strangest-looking one with a hull that looks like two tankers placed side-by-side. With help from a slot at the bow of the vessel and a 48,000 tonne lifting capacity, the ‘Pieter Schelte’ will be used to install and remove decommissioned topsides and jackets of large offshore oil and gas platforms in the North Sea with a single lift. The vessel is also equipped for laying large pipelines with a capacity that will also make her the largest pipelay vessel.

Photo courtesy Allseas
Departing South Korea. Photo courtesy Allseas

The Pieter Schelte was commissioned by Swiss company Allseas, which specializes in offshore pipeline installation and subsea construction, and reportedly cost close to $3 billion to construct.

Although the vessel has been under construction at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering shipyard in Okpo since 2010 (early construction even began as early as 2007), the concept for the Pieter Schelte dates back to 1987 when it was first designed by Allseas founder and chief executive Edward Heerema.

RELATED: Pieter Schelte Caught on Camera – Video

Photo courtesy Allseas
Photo courtesy Allseas

Pieter Schelte departed the DSME on November 17 under the assistance of tugs. On its journey to Rotterdam, the ship will make stops at Singapore and then Cape Town.

Once in Rotterdam, Pieter Schelte will be moved to Alexiahaven to a specially-designed and dredged berth known as Maasvlakte 2, where the 65-meter long beams of the topside lift system will be installed.

Offshore operations 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.

To understand how the Pieter Schelte will work, check out the video below:

Pieter Schelte Particulars:

  • Length overall (incl. tilting lift beam and stinger): 477 m (1,565 ft)
  • Length overall (excl. tilting lift beam and stinger): 382 m (1,253 ft)
  • Length between perpendiculars: 370 m (1,214 ft)
  • Breadth: 124 m (407 ft)
  • Depth to main deck: 30 m (98 ft)
  • Slot length: 122 m (400 ft)
  • Slot width: 59 m (194 ft)
  • Topsides lift capacity: 48,000 t (105,820 kips)
  • Jacket lift capacity: 25,000 t (55,116 kips)
  • Stinger length (incl. transition frame): 210 m (690 ft)
  • Operating draught: 10-25 m (32-82 ft)
  • Maximum speed: 14 knots
  • Total installed power: 95,000 kW
  • Accommodation: 571 persons
  • Dynamic positioning system: LR DP (AAA), fully redundant Kongsberg K-Pos DP-22 and 2 x cJoy system
  • Deck cranes: 3 x Pipe transfer cranes of 50 t (110 kips) at 33 m (108 ft), 1 x Special purpose crane of
  • 600 t (1,323 kips) at 20 m (66 ft)
  • Work stations: Double-joint factory with 5 line-up stations and 2 stations for combined external and internal welding; Main firing line with 6 welding stations for double joints, 1 NDT station and 6 coating stations
  • Tensioner capacity: 4 x 500 t (4 x 1,102 kips)
  • Pipe diameters: From 2? to 68? OD
  • Pipe cargo capacity (deck): 27,000 t
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