Pioneering Spirit, one of many world’s largest vessels, reached Lerwick Harbour on Friday, August 28, carrying aboard the 14,200 tonne Ninian Northern Platform topside.

Previous to the arrival in Lerwick, the large catamaran had eliminated the Ninian Northern topsides in a single-lift from a jacket standing in 140 m water depth, on the Ninian oilfield round 100 miles (88 nautical miles) north-east of Shetland.

Supply of the Ninian Northern platform topside marked the inauguration of a brand new, heavy-duty decommissioning pad at Dales Voe Base the place the power has been developed by Lerwick Port Authority, increasing the aptitude to maintain UK sector decommissioning initiatives within the UK.

The topside can be decommissioned on the base, with a 97% recycling goal

In accordance with Lerwick Port Authority, the switch of the topsides by Allseas’ cargo barge, Iron Woman, to the decommissioning pad, is the primary full northern North Sea topside load-in at Lerwick. 

Dismantling by contractors, Veolia/Peterson, Lerwick Port Authority stated, will create and maintain jobs and funding within the native financial system.

Lerwick Port Authority Chief Government, Captain Calum Grains, stated: “The arrival of the Ninian Northern topside at our Dales Voe Base is a fine addition to exercise in Shetland amidst the Covid-19 downturn and one other essential stage within the growth of Lerwick’s repute as an energetic, main heart for decommissioning.

“The pad is a major addition to our distinctive quayside infrastructure, not solely as a catalyst for dealing with bigger offshore buildings, but additionally in attracting the curiosity of the renewables sector for future initiatives, significantly floating offshore wind developments.  

“The dimensions of the topside, the single-lift supply, and the infrastructure already in place provides weight to the widely-accepted case for Lerwick to be the situation of an Extremely-Deep-Water Quay within the UK for even larger initiatives within the aggressive worldwide decommissioning and renewables industries. The proposal has robust Authorities and business assist.”

The Port Authority’s imaginative and prescient for the long run to permit larger, deeper-draft vessels to berth, consists of additional dredging at Dales Voe to enhance the deliberate Extremely-Deep-Water Quay.

Funding by the Port Authority has been backed by the Scottish Authorities, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Financial institution of Scotland who’ve offered monetary help for the marina growth on the base, in addition to the decommissioning pad.  

Scotland’s Vitality Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, stated: “The arrival of the Ninian Northern topside in Shetland is additional proof of the power of Scotland’s decommissioning provide chain and the capabilities, information and abilities held inside the business.

“I’m delighted to see how latest funding at Dales Voe by the Scottish Authorities has been utilized by Lerwick Port Authority and its companions to extend the decommissioning potential of the port and assist safe main decommissioning initiatives.

“Trying ahead, the Scottish Authorities stays dedicated to establishing an Extremely-Deep Water Port at Dales Voe to unlock much more alternatives for decommissioning of top-sides and different oil and fuel infrastructure by permitting the positioning to accommodate the biggest heavy carry vessels at present in operation within the North Sea. This enables initiatives that at present can’t be decommissioned in Scotland, as a result of lack of a deep water facility, to be retained right here for dismantling in Shetland or for partnerships to permit the dismantling of some modules at different decommissioning services throughout Scotland.”

Audrey MacIver, Director of Vitality and Low Carbon for Highlands and Islands Enterprise, stated:  “The foresight and dedication by Lerwick Port Authority to spend money on important infrastructure continues to convey advantages to Shetland and the broader Scottish provide chain.  This newest arrival is especially well timed given present challenges being confronted by the oil and fuel business and the related provide chain.  

“Constructing on present strengths and experience,  Dales Voe is firmly establishing itself as a key UK facility for serial, giant scale offshore decommissioning, making certain Shetland continues to play an ever rising function within the nation’s vitality transition.“

The decommissioning pad, designed and project-managed by Arch Henderson and constructed by native firm, Tulloch Developments, has an impermeable floor and a 60 tonne per sq. meter load which matches the quayside capability. Distinctive to the quayside design is an 800 tonne per meter line loading for switch of the topsides from the barge throughout the quayside.

The dual-hulled Pioneering Spirit is 382 meters lengthy and 124 meters vast. A bow slot, 122 meters lengthy and 59 meters vast, allows it to maneuver round a platform and carry and transport total topsides utilizing eight units of horizontal lifting beams. A 5,000-tonne special-purpose crane is used for lifts, corresponding to lighter topsides. The vessel additionally undertakes jacket removing and set up.