The world’s largest crane vessel, Heerema’s Sleipnir, has lifted and removed the steel jacket of the iconic Brent Alpha platform in the UK North Sea. The 10,100 tonne single lift breaks the vessel’s previous record for a jacket, the 8,100 tonne lift to remove the base of the Jotun B platform.
For the Brent Alpha project, Sleipnir arrived at the Brent field on July 23, and she completed the project by offloading the jacket at a decommissioning site in Vats, Norway on August 11.
Brent Alpha’s topsides were removed in a single 17,000 tonne lift by the decommissioning/pipelay vessel Pioneering Spirit in June. Between the two lifts, the entirety of the 1970s-era production platform disappeared from the North Sea in less than two months’ time. (Pioneering Spirit’s unique lifting system is hydraulically actuated, and her record-setting lifts do not compete directly with the record for a crane vessel.)
The Brent Alpha jacket project was Sleipnir’s fourth decommissioning job for the 2020 summer season, according to operator Heerema. So far, Sleipnir has removed and transported nearly 44,000 tonnes of decommissioned offshore infrastructure for recycling over the course of the season.
Sleipnir also holds the world record for the heaviest lift by a crane vessel. She completed a 15,300 tonne lift in September 2019 when she installed the topsides for Noble Energy’s Leviathan development in the Eastern Mediterranean. Sleipnir installed both of the platform’s main topsides modules – a total weight of 24,500 tonnes – in less than 20 hours, according to Heerema.
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