Is Pioneering Spirit now also called Pieter Schelte?
Has Allseas added back the name of Pieter Schelte to the hull of the installation vessel Pioneering Spirit? You would say that after studying a recent photo of the mega-ship. Pieter Schelte is again very clearly visible above the words Pioneering Spirit. Lack of black paint or a conscious choice?
Allseas owner Edward Heerema originally wanted to name the ship after his father Pieter Schelte, but declined due to public pressure. Schelte was an offshore industry pioneer, but was also a member of the Waffen SS. The Pioneering Spirit’s initials refer to his father.
Responding to an inquiry from Schuttevaer, Allseas spokesperson Jeroen Hagelstein very clearly said, “The ship is called Pioneering Spirit, referring to the pioneering spirit of Pieter Schelte. However, his name was welded onto the hull at the yard. Allseas has chosen not to remove it, because that would be ugly. In addition, it was also a conscious choice by Heerema to leave Pieter Schelte as a tribute to his father.”
All those years, the words Pieter Schelte were simply visible on the fuselage, Hagelstein emphasizes. “We recently carried out major maintenance on the ship, which means that the name Pieter Schelte is indeed very clearly visible again.” Not a conscious choice, he says. “People sometimes notice it during guided tours of the ship.”
The construction vessel Pioneering Spirit is the largest ship in the world and is used, among other things, for the dismantling of oil platforms or the installation of wind turbines.
In a rare interview in the FD, which port journalist Pieter Lalkens conducted with Edward Heerema in 2018, the entrepreneur said that pressure from Shell played a role at the time. “They never asked directly, but I eventually changed the name for Shell, for whom the ship is dismantling a number of platforms. Yes, my father has that history, but he is also the man who installed almost all the oil and gas rigs in the North Sea in the 1960s and 1970s. An unprecedented pioneer.”
The Pioneering Spirit departed from the Alexiahaven in Rotterdam on Saturday afternoon, August 20. The vessel is loaded with the frame and top site of the 900 MW transformer platform DolWin Kappa. The platform will connect the DolWin 6 wind farm with the coast.
The wind farm is located in the North Sea near Germany. The topside was built in Spain over the past three years. As soon as the wind farm becomes operational, it will supply electricity for a million households. The foundation of the transformer platform, which hangs behind the ship, weighs 5000 tons. The topside at the front of the ship weighs 10,500 tons.