Pioneering Spirit removes the Ninian Northern jacket with its new Jacket lift system. Photo courtesy Allseas

Giant ‘Pioneering Spirit’ Shows Off New Jacket-Lifting System

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 7862
April 25, 2022

The world’s largest catamaran, Pioneering Spirit, has used its new jacket lift system for the first time with the removal of the 8,100 metric ton Ninian Northern jacket in the North Sea off the Shetland Islands.

Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit is the largest offshore construction vessel ever built, designed for single-lift installation and removal of large oil and gas platforms weighing up to 48,000 metric tons. The ship entered service in 2016 and has already set a number of offshore lifting records, including the world record for the heaviest single-lift with the removal of the 24,000 metric ton Brent Delta platform in 2017.

The ship has now been fitted with a new revolutionary Jacket lift system (JLS), mounted on the ship’s aft, which comprises two connected 170-meter-long beams that lift and support jackets during removal and installation operations, as well as transport jackets in a near-vertical position to maintain the integrity of the massive structures. Allseas says the system makes it “fundamentally different” from conventional crane-lifting vessels and also the ship’s own lifting system.

The new system allows for the direct transfer of structures, eliminating the need for support barges. There is also no need to seafasten the jacket to the beams during transit “due to the vessel’s high level of stability, significantly reducing time in the field and lowering the emissions footprint, ” according to Allseas.

Photo courtesy Allseas

Pioneering Spirit began with the single-lift removal of the 14,200 metric ton Ninian Northern platform topsides in 2020. Arriving back at the Ninian field earlier this month, the ship lifted the eight-legged jacket out of the water and lowered it onto the deck for transit.

The jacket will be delivered to the Veolia-Peterson yard in Dales Voe, Shetlands, which is targetting 98% steel reuse.

The success of the operation concludes two years of planning and design.

Photo courtesy Allseas

“CNR International’s decision to select Pioneering Spirit for the Ninian Northern jacket removal demonstrates the industry’s confidence in Allseas’ innovative engineering solutions and further reinforces our reputation as a frontrunner in the global offshore energy market,” said Allseas President Edward Heerema.

“With the successful removal of the Ninian Northern jacket, Allseas has realised its long-term vision of a vessel that provides the offshore industry with a total solution for offshore work,” added Heerema.

Ninian Northern is the first of several major jacket removal and installation commitments for Pioneering Spirit in 2022. The vessel is booked to lift and transport more than 123,000 metric tons of structures for the offshore energy industry this year utilizing both its Jacket lift and motion-compensated Topsides lift systems.

More on Pioneering Spirit’s jacket lift system and the Ninian Northern operation can be found in the videos below:

Back to Main