July 9, 2019
Upgrade Planned for Pioneering Spirit's Lift Capacity

After winning the contract to remove Equinor's 48,000-tonne Statfjord A platform in the Norwegian North Sea, Allseas already announced it would increase the Pioneering Spirit's lifting capacity. Now, the offshore contractor has revealed by how much: by 12,000 tonnes to 60,000 tonnes. 

This was reported by SWZ|Maritime's Dutch sister publication Nieuwsblad Transport. Details of the upgrade such as where it will take place are yet to be revealed. Yet, the operation will probably take at least several months and costs could run as high as hundreds of millions of euros, considering the construction of the vessel cost 2.7 billion euros.

Removal of Stafjord A Topsides

Allseas won the contract, which will be a another record heavy lift, with Equinor in May this year. The Pioneering Spirit, which is the world's largest construction vessel, is to remove the 48,000-tonne Statfjord A topsides from its concrete gravity based substructure in one piece after 2022. The platform weight equals Pioneering Spirit's current maximum lift capacity. Yet, previous decommissioning contracts have taught Allseas that the actual weight of the topsides can differ from what it says on paper due to changes in the construction after installation and liquids that can add to the weight. Therefore, the vessel's lifting capacity will be extended to 60,000 tonnes.

Statfjord A is one of the largest platforms on the Norwegian continental shelf. It stands in 149 metres of water in the centre of the Statfjord field, located in the northern North Sea, approximately 120 miles west of Bergen. The topsides are 84 metres long and 54 metres wide.

Picture: The Pioneering Spirit in the Port of Rotterdam (picture by Frans Berkelaar).

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