Pioneering Spirit

Pioneering Spirit  (formerly Pieter Schelte) is a dynamically positioned vessel for single-lift installation and removal of large offshore oil and gas platforms, and the installation of oil and gas pipelines. Inspired by the offshore heavy lifting pioneer Pieter Schelte Heerema (1908–81) and designed entirely in-house, Pioneering Spirit  represents the epitome of Allseas engineering and innovation and marks a new era in the heavy lifting industry.

The twin-hulled vessel is 382 m long and 124 m wide. At the bow is a slot, 122 m long and 59 m wide, that enables Pioneering Spirit  to straddle a platform and remove entire topsides in a single lift using eight sets of horizontal lifting beams. Two tilting lift beams for the installation and removal of jackets will be located at the vessel’s stern. Pioneering Spirit  is also equipped with pipelay equipment that makes it possible to install record-weight pipelines from shallow to ultra-deep water, and achieve high lay rates. The tensioner capacity of 2000 t is double the capacity of the world's largest pipelay vessel, Allseas' own Solitaire  and will enable Pioneering Spirit  to shift pipelaying boundaries even further.

Pioneering Spirit  can sail under her own power at a high transit speed, making her suitable for worldwide use. Operating on full dynamic positioning, she can work accurately in any water depth, while her light ice class will extend the periods in which she can operate in polar regions. Due to the motion compensation system, she can make large lifts in hostile seas. The vessel was built in South Korea by Daewoo and arrived in Rotterdam for final outfitting in January 2015. The installation, commissioning and offshore testing of the topsides lift system beams was completed in August 2016, after which  Pioneering Spirit  successfully executed her first commercial project, removal of the Yme topsides in the Norwegian North Sea.

Iron Lady
For the transfer of jackets and topsides to/from Pioneering Spirit, a 57 m wide, 200 m long cargo barge has been purpose built. This barge, Iron Lady, with its relatively shallow draught, will enable the loading or offloading of structures to or from the yard in case the water depth at the quayside is insufficient for Pioneering Spirit. The transfer of structures between Pioneering Spirit  and Iron Lady  will take place in sheltered water close to the yard.

In the event that Pioneering Spirit  is required for platform topsides installation or removal work, the stinger will be removed from the bow section of the vessel and stored on a purpose-built stinger barge, Bumblebee.

Technical design

Vessel specifications

Length overall (incl. stinger)477 m (1,565 ft) 
Length overall (excl. stinger)382 m (1,253 ft) 
Length between perpendiculars370 m (1,214 ft) 
Breadth124 m (407 ft) 
Depth to main deck30 m (98 ft) 
Slot length122 m (400 ft) 
Slot width59 m (194 ft) 
Topsides lift capacity48,000 t 
Jacket lift capacity25,000 t  
Operating draught27 m 
Maximum speed14 knots 
Total installed power95,000 kW 
Thrusters12 x 6050 kW non-retractable, fixed pitch, variable speed azimuth type 
Dynamic positioning systemLR DP (AAA), fully redundant Kongsberg K-Pos DP-22 and 2 x cJoy system 
Accomodation571 persons 
HelideckMaximum take-off weight 12.8 t, suitable for Sikorsky S-61 and S-92 helicopters 
Deck cranesSpecial purpose crane of 5000 t (11,000 kips)
Special purpose crane of 600 t (1300 kips)
3 x pipe transfer cranes of 50 t (110 kips)  
Work stationsDouble-joint factory (with 5 line-up stations and 2
stations for combined external and internal welding)
Firing line with 6 welding stations for double joints, 1
NDT station and 6 coating stations 
Installed tension capacity4 x 500 t (4 x 1100 kips) 
Pipe cargo capacity on main deck27,000 t 
Pipe diametersFrom 2" to 68" OD 
Classifications100 A1 Heavy lift and heavy cargo ship, upper deck aft of frame 43 strengthened for load of 15 t/m²; helicopter landing area, LA, *IWS, LI, EP (B, G, N, O, P, S), ice class 1C FS LMC, DP (AAA), PSMR* with following descriptive note: Pipelaying vessel Shipright (BWMP), split bow forward of frame 99 
Port of registryValletta

Pioneering Spirit  projects