Pioneering Spirit lifts 14,200-tonne Ninian Northern platform

Allseas’ heavy lift vessel Pioneering Spirit has completed her third and final decommissioning job of 2020, a single-lift removal of the North Sea’s 14,200-tonne Ninian Northern topsides for CNR International (CNRI). 

Completed Friday morning, 28 August, the operation took approximately 2 hours, from connecting the vessel’s lifting beams to the platform to the lift, ensuring environmental emissions from the removal activities were kept to a minimum with the efficient vessel systems. The actual “fast lift” of the topsides took only 7 seconds. 

Pioneering Spirit will now deliver the topsides to the Peterson-Veolia yard in Dales Voe, Shetland, for disposal. The facility will target over a 97% reuse/recycle ratio and create a number of jobs over the period the topsides is dismantled. 

The lift successfully concludes several months of offshore works to prepare the platform for single-lift removal. 

Located in the North Sea, 160 km northeast of the Shetland Islands, the Ninian Northern platform comprised topsides modules for drilling, production and accommodation, supported by an eight-legged jacket standing in 140 m water depth. The eight steel legs were cut during a second phase of preparations in 2019. 

Pioneering Spirit will return to the Ninian field in summer 2022 to remove the supporting jacket structure. 

After transfer and load-in of the Ninian Northern topsides at Dales Voe, the vessel will sail to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for Jacket lift system installation works and to prepare for upcoming projects.

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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