Offshore contractor Allseas has launched a video of the installation of the jacket lift system beams on its giant heavy lift, decommissioning, and construction vessel, the Pioneering Spirit.

Pioneering Spirit vessel - Allseas
Pioneering Spirit vessel; Source: Allseas

The two huge steel beams arrived in Rotterdam earlier in September after a week-long tow from the fabrication yard in northern Italy after which the installation of 6000-tonne mega steel structures on board Pioneering Spirit followed.

Two and a half years after the first steel was cut, the two colossus Jacket lift system (JLS) main beams are in position on Pioneering Spirit’s main deck – a milestone in the realisation of the vessel’s new lift system, Allseas said on Wednesday.

Using a combination of SPMT arrangements and skidding systems, one by one, the structures were aligned and driven forward onto the aft deck. The final move-in of the last few metres, to position the main hinges between the hang-off frames, was a meticulous task with only millimetres of clearance on either side of the 13 m wide beams.

The most critical phase in the entire procedure, according to Allseas, was aligning the four hang-off eyes with the beam’s two main hinges to insert the 1.3 m diameter hinge pins.

“To perform this operation, the beams were placed on the same skid system that was used to position the New Safe Confinement dome over the fourth Chernobyl reactor two years ago”, Florian Wasser, Manager Capital Projects, explained. “With the ability to manipulate the position of thousands of tonnes within tens of millimetres, the pins went in accurately and smoothly”.

Allseas pointed out that the operation was completed within half the foreseen time thanks to the support of the crew, Mammoet, and office assistance.

In addition to the beams, many other systems and components manufactured across the globe were finalised over the past few months. These include the ballast box frame by Carope (China), the main hoist blocks by Asturfeito (Spain), and the grillages by Remazel (Italy) are all on their way to Rotterdam. Delivery of these items kicks off the final installation phase onboard Pioneering Spirit.

The vessel was built to install and remove entire jackets up to 20,000 tonnes in a single lift and is able to operate in hostile weather conditions.

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