Allseas giant catamaran takes shape in South Korea
In last month’s Message From The Bridge I recounted my recent visit to Aberdeen and the importance of the offshore industry to Aberdeen Harbour and the wider economy of North East Scotland.
The future success of the offshore industry is currently one of the ‘hot’ debating points in the forthcoming referendum on Scottish independence so I have no doubt that the sector will be the subject of much scrutiny and discussion over the coming months, particularly in regard to the volume of remaining reserves and new exploration opportunities.
I was therefore intrigued to read in recent months about the opportunities arising from the potential de-commissioning of oil rigs; in particular about the construction of a revolutionary new catamaran for AllseasGroup SA, the Swiss based engineering group. Currently under construction at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering yard in South Korea is the Pieter Schelte, with a length of 382m and a beam of 124m and officially described as a “dynamically positioned single-lift installation/decommissioning vessel”. Allseas believes that as well as being successful in capturing installation work, this mammoth new vessel will be well placed to capture a large segment of the decommissioning market. This highly specialised vessel has a slot (between her two hulls) 122m long and 59m wide at her forward end, where topsides can be lifted using eight sets of horizontal lifting beams. Two tilting lifting beams, for the installation or removal of jackets are located at the vessel’s stern. These tilting beams are also used for regular crane lifts, such as for the installation or removal of modules, bridges etc. Entering service this year the Pieter Schelte is already lined up to remove the topsides of three of the platforms in the Brent field to the north east of the Shetland Islands.
Incredibly in late 2013 Allseas announced its intention to build an even larger catamaran, this time with a beam of 160m and with a lifting capacity of 72,000 tonnes.
Back in the early 1990s, when I was involved with Sea Containers early efforts to introduce car and passenger carrying catamarans, we were impressed by the size of Incat’s 74m wave piercing SeaCats. How small they now seem compared to the vessels commissioned by Allseas; but how fascinating to see the progress in the role of catamarans within different sectors of the marine industry and the continuing and dramatic evolution of vessel design.
HAMISH ROSS, EDITOR