Delivery of the 382 m by 124 m offshore platform installation and decommissioning vessel Pioneering Spirit (ex-Pieter Schelde), which was billed as the world’s largest ship when it arrived in Rotterdam in January, has been delayed until next year.
The vessel, which had been due into service in the North Sea this summer, is now scheduled for delivery at an as yet unspecified date in the first half of next year.
Allseas, the company which has ordered the twin-hulled vessel, told IHS Maritime that installation and commissioning of the vessel’s all important topsides lifting system would now only be completed in the course of the coming winter.
And it added that the system would subsequently need to be tested at sea before it could be brought into service for the first time on a contract to remove the topsides of a platform in the Yme field in the Norwegian North Sea.
The vessel had been expected to come into operation on a contract to remove platforms for Shell in the Brent field and to carry out an installation contract on the Johan Sverdup field for Statoil but Allseas said that it had now informed the “relevant stakeholders” of the “updated” delivery schedule.
The company, which is doing most of the outfitting work itself at a specially prepared site in the Maasvlakte area of the port of Rotterdam, told IHS Maritime that the delay had been largely due to the late delivery from sub-contractors of components for the 65 m lift system beams with which the vessel is to be equipped.
“Installation is much more complex than we originally anticipated,” a spokesman said. “All the components are so big and demanding that a lot of sub-contractors have had difficulties with deliveries.”
The hull of the Pioneering Spirit was built in South Korea by DSME. The vessel has been designed to lift and transport jackets and topsides too heavy or bulky to be handled in a single section by crane barges.