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 and commissioning of the topsides lift system beams will be completed during the winter of 2015/2016, after which the lifting system will be tested at sea. Pioneering Spirit will commence offshore operations in the summer of 2016, with removal of the Yme topsides in the Norwegian North Sea.