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As geoscientist working for industry one comes across some rare chances to have a look at quite impressive pieces of heavy metal. I’ve recently had the chance to visit Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit, a pipe-laying and platform decommissioning vessel which is currently being prepped in the port of Rotterdam for the first project in 2016. The vessel is the largest ship in the world, going by deck size, dwarfing many of the publicly well known large ships like aircraft carriers, supertankers and cargo vessels. Here are a few impressions of that mighty piece of metal and engineering. There’s also some video footage of the vessel which can be found on YouTube – and the mighty lady even has her own Twitter feed (with more videos and pictures there).
The mighty ship in Maasvlakte 2
The lifting beams which are supposed to hold the platform legs
The stinger transition frame . It requires its own support vessel to be transported.
Starboard view, with helideck.
View from the entertainment room towards the portside pipeline loading
Pipe storage on the portside part of the vessel
The bridge. Wooden steering wheel included (only temporary decoration though…)
Aft side of the bridge. Special sunglasses included.
Vie to the helideck and the Europoort in the background.
Displays, joysticks, the whole shebang
Lift ops part of the bridge
Fast lift – the magic green button to lift a couple of thousand tons in 10 sec…
Diesel power x9 – 170000 hp or 97 MW.
Navigation display showing the peculiar design of the vessel with the bow being catamaran hulls while the aft part is just plane humongous rectangular bathtub.
Bridge in full width.
Bow view. The space between the two bows with the lifting beams occupied by a barge used for construction.
Horizontal view of the lifting beams with virtual jackup rig
May the force be with you. Thruster steering panel.
Making the way up to the helideck
View of the bow side of the bridge
Aft deck view
Fancy a soccer match? WIde open space on the uppermost deck
The Tog Mor, a shallow water pipe laying vessel
Base of the starboard aft crane
On the aft deck
Joint assembly on aft deck with connection to lower deck and ‘firing line’ for pipeline assembly
View from portside aft towards the
Portside lifting beams
Starboard lifting beam
View up the bridge
Crane for double joints
Into the abyss – double joints are lowered onto the lower deck and assembled to a pipeline along the ‘firing line’
Slightly thicker than your average steel cable
Heart of the ship
Clamps to maintain the right tension of assembled joints
More than 3 km of neatly arranged cable