Ninian Northern Jacket arrives at Lerwick for decommissioning

Latest project, including UK first for Pioneering Spirit, highlights port capacity

The second phase of a decommissioning project is underway at Lerwick with the arrival today (22 April 2022) at the deep-water Shetland port of the Ninian Northern production platform jacket from the northern North Sea.

The 8,500 tonnes, 83-metre-high steel structure has been delivered by Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit, following removal in a single lift from the field, 100 miles north-east of the islands.

She has gone directly to Lerwick Port Authority’s Dales Voe Base – the first time the world’s biggest offshore construction vessel has operated at a quayside in a UK port.

Using her 5,000-tonne capacity crane, Pioneering Spirit will initially lift steel support structures, used in delivering the Ninian Northern platform topside for decommissioning in 2020, onto a barge for removal and re-use, clearing the way for the load-in of the jacket.

The vessel will then move to mid-voe to transfer the jacket via a barge, Allseas’ Iron Lady, to the Base in a complex operation over a number of days. The structure will be loaded-in to a heavy-duty pad developed by the Authority in 2020 where the topside was decommissioned by international partnership, Veolia/Peterson, in the largest project yet at the port.

The operation also involves a fleet of support vessels, including tugs, a workboat and barges.

The jacket will be dismantled and recycled over approximately eight months by Veolia/Peterson.

“The size of the jacket and the scale of the support fleet is another demonstration of the harbour’s established capacity to handle large – and even bigger – decommissioning projects,” Port Authority Chief Executive, Captain Calum Grains, said.

“So, too, is the scope to accommodate the 382-metres long and 124-metres wide Pioneering Spirit in maneuvering in the voe and operating directly at the Base, a significant milestone for Lerwick and the UK industry.

“That ability, and the competitiveness of the UK decommissioning and renewables industries, will be further enhanced by our project for an Ultra-Deep-Water Quay at Dales Voe, which we are continuing to progress.”

The eight-legged platform, a drilling and production facility, was installed in 1978 and in production in 1980. Output ceased in 2017.

The Port Authority‘s development of the Dales Voe pad was backed by the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Bank of Scotland.

Photo Caption:  Lerwick, Shetland: Pioneering Spirit, the world’s largest construction vessel, arrives in Dales Voe with the 8,500 tonne Ninian Northern jacket for decommissioning. © Rory Gillies/Shetland Flyer Aerial Media.

Footage and photographs of the arrival and jacket transfer to the quayside will be able to be viewed on Lerwick Port Authority’s website and YouTube channel in the coming days.

For any Copyright/permission for usage beyond original supply, please contact Lerwick Port Authority info@lerwick-harbour.co.uk

For further information, please contact: Captain Calum Grains, Chief Executive, Lerwick Port Authority. Tel: +44 (0) 1595 692991. For additional information on Lerwick Harbour, view: https://www.lerwick-harbour.co.uk/sectors/decommissioning