Retirement of an icon: Heerema Marine Contractor's Hermod

September 7, 2017

Heerema Marine Contractor’s iconic semisubmersible crane vessel Hermod is set to retire after a 40-year operational service history.

Hermod's first job in 1979, installing the Piper A platform topsides in the UK North Sea. Images from Heerema Marine Contractors. 

Designed and constructed in the 1970s, Hermod and her sister vessel Balder were the first semisubmersible crane vessels of their kind in the offshore construction industry.

The semisubmersible concept was developed with the aim of extending operability in the harsh North Sea environment and to deliver superior lifting capacity.

This allowed Heerema Marine Contractors to work faster and during more months of the year than the conventional mono-hull crane vessels of the time.

After delivery by the Japanese Mitsui yard in 1978, Hermod’s first job was the installation of the Piper A platform on the UK Continental Shelf.

The vessel executed its first project outside the North Sea in Brazil in the mid-1980s, followed by projects in the Gulf of Mexico, South East Asia and Africa.

Throughout its career, Hermod has worked in more than 25 countries and was involved in several "first-of" installation projects, including:

  • Hermod's first dual crane topside lift, the L13 platform, in 1986.

    Installation of the first North Sea tension leg platform (TLP) (Hutton) jointly with Balder in 1984.
  • Installation of the first deepwater foundation piles of the first TLP in the Gulf of Mexico (Auger) in 870m water depth in 1992.
  • Installation of the Tombua Landana compliant tower foundation in Angola in 2008, comprising the world's largest single piece foundation piles (2.7m-diameter, 190m-long and weighing 850-tonne each).
  • Removal of the first large platform in the UK: North West Hutton in 2008/09.
  • The heaviest lift performed by Hermod was the Peregrino topside in Brazil in 2010, with a dry weight of 6287-tonne.

The demolition of Hermod will be performed in a safe and responsible way, in accordance with the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships and in line with the European Union Ship Recycling Regulation.

The Chinese demolition yard Zhoushan Changhong International Ship Recycling Company has been selected. About 98% of the vessel materials will be recycled and re-used.

Hermod's last project, installation a transformer platform on the Borkum Riffgrund 2 wind farm in July this year.

Hermod will be transported to its final destination on Boskalis' heavy transport vessel Dockwise Vanguard.

"We wish to bring a thankful salute to our Hermod and all of our colleagues involved in working on and with her, presently and in the past, being grateful for an exceptional contribution to the offshore construction industry in general and our company in particular," says HMC.

HMC is currently constructing the world’s largest semisubmersible crane vessel Sleipnir in Singapore. Sleipnir has a two, 10,000-tonne lifting capacity and is due to come into service in 2019.

Sleipnir will be outfitted with a dual fuel propulsion system, whereby in LNG mode, harmful emissions will be substantially reduced.

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