Offshore services provider Allseas, the owner of world’s largest platform installation/decommissioning and pipelay vessel – the Pioneering Spirit – is thinking of building an even bigger one – to be called the Amazing Grace.
The story of the new twin-hull behemoth – a bigger sister of the Pioneering Spirit – which will be able to lift world largest offshore platforms in a single lift is not a new one.
Edward Heerema, the owner of Allseas, had revealed the company had plans to build an even bigger catamaran giant even before the Pioneering Spirit had left the shipyard in Korea in 2014. It was reported at the time that the new vessel could be operational in 2020.
However, the plans had to be put off as the oil industry was hit by an unprecedented downturn when the oil prices started falling at a staggering pace in 2014.
Despite the setback, Edward Heerema seems never to have stopped thinking about the Amazing Grace – which is expected to cost about $3 billion.
While the new vessel is still only a concept, Reuters on Wednesday reported, citing Heerema, that Allseas might make an investment decision for the new giant heavy-lifting catamaran in three years.
Once, and if built, the sister vessel will dwarf its older brother both in size and in lifting capacity.
The Pioneering Spirit, currently laying the TurkStream pipeline in the Black Sea, is 382 meters long, 124 meters wide, with a 122-meter long and 59 meter wide slot between the two hulls, where topsides are lifted using eight sets of horizontal lifting beams.
To remind, the Pioneering Spirit vessel executed its maiden heavy lift of the the 13,500 ton Yme offshore platform in the North Sea off Norway in August 2016. This was a prelude to what would become a heavy lifting world record – removal of Shell’s 24,000 t Brent Delta platform topsides from the UK North Sea in early 2017. The vessel is able to remove topsides of up to 48.000 tons in a single lift.
While the Pioneering Spirit size and records are an admirable feat, they would pale in comparison to what its sister vessel might be capable able of.
According to information released earlier, the Amazing Grace would be 400 meters long and 160 meters wide, with a capacity to lift topsides weighing 77.000 tons, being able to handle the largest platforms such as Gullfaks and Troll in the Norwegian North Sea.
There is as of yet no information on when the new vessel could become operational, nor where it would be built. The Pioneering Spirit was delivered by Daewoo in Korea in 2014.