Multiple markets for heavy lifts

August 1, 2014

Seaway Heavy Lifting’s crane vessel Stanislav Yudin installing a topside. 

Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL) will be involved in one of the biggest lifting campaigns in the North Sea, as part of GDF Suez E&P’s Cygnus gas development, in the southern UK sector of the North Sea. The Cygnus field development consists of four platforms; two wellhead platforms; a process platform, and a quarters platform.

Two bridges will be installed in between the platforms, one between the Cygnus Alpha wellhead platform and the process platform and the other between the process platform and the quarters platform. In addition, subsea installation work will involve two structures, the manifold and the subsea safety isolation valve. The Cygnus structures will be transported and installed by SHL, using both its crane vessels, the Stanislav Yudin and the Oleg Strashnov, in two separate installation campaigns this year and next.

SHL’s work is far from limited to the North Sea, however. Another recent feather in the Oleg Strashnov’s cap is a string of contracts in the Gulf of Mexico, a new region for SHL.

While SHL’s traditional focus has been in oil and gas, installing more than 150 projects globally, the last few years has seen the firm increasingly active in the renewables industry, with more than 400 offshore wind turbine foundations and various substations installed to date. According to Koen van der Perk, SHL’s senior vice president, Commercial, while there is expected to be a lull in renewables market in 2014 and 2015, it is expected to pick up again in 2016.

The removal and recycling of offshore platforms and subsea structures is another area SHL will be working in. Legislation requires that North Sea structures have to be removed, with derogation only available in certain cases for parts of structures. While new technology and enhanced production methods has meant many offshore platforms have exceeded their design life, the work is starting to come.

Seaway Heavy Lifting’s crane vessel Oleg Strashnov installing a 4400- tonne topside. Photos from Seaway Heavy Lifting. 

“In the near future, it is expected that this market will pick up,” says van der Perk. “In the UK and Dutch sector of the North Sea, quite a few platforms are due to be removed in the coming years. This market is definitely materializing.”

SHL’s vessels, Stanislav Yudin and Oleg Strashnov, have a revolving lift capacity of 2500-tonne and 5000-tonne, respectively. The Stanislav Yudin has just undergone a major, six-month lifetime extension (LTE) program, which was completed at the end of April. “It was a great milestone for Seaway Heavy Lifting that the project was completed on time despite the challenges we faced,” says van der Perk. “The vessel was delivered fully-operational and on time for the next project. This was achieved by merging mobilization activities for the next project in our completion schedule.”

Earlier this year, SHL signed a contract with Rhenus Logistics to rent warehouse facilities, open storage area and quayside for 10 years on the Maasvlakte in Rotterdam. The yard provides nearly 5000sq m of covered warehouse, 35,000sq m of open storage, and quayside for the mooring of both SHL’s crane vessels.

So, does Seaway have any plans for fleet renewal? Van der Perk says: “Stanislav Yudin will, after the LTE, be operating successfully for another 10-15 years. In the renewables industry, new techniques are being developed which could lead to the need for new types of vessels. We will, of course, await these developments and continue to focus on market needs, but it is too early to decide whether or what kind of vessel will be added to our fleet.” 

 



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