The 3,200 tonnes lift capacity Asian Hercules II returned to Norway in June to provide additional heavy lift assistance
during the decommissioning of the Maureen platform. During March, the big sheerlegs lifted, transported and landed 11 Maureen platform modules at Aker Maritime's Stord facility over a two-week period.
For the second visit, Asian Hercules II arrived at Stord on June 22. The scope of work involved three lifts, including a 600 tonnes conductor frame and two lattice frames, weighing 2,950 tonnes each. The latter will be the biggest single lifts ever executed by a SMIT sheerlegs. This breaks the December 2001 record, when Asian Hercules II lifted a 2,800 tonnes drilling module for ExxonMobil's Ringhorne platform.
The sheerlegs will complete the three lifts over a three-day period. To lift the extreme weight of the lattice frames, Asian Hercules II used a tailored lift configuration. This consisted of a special transverse spreader beam and four lifting blocks, to distribute the weight at 800 tonnes per block along the beam. The operation to lift each lattice frame was completed within 12 hours.
Later in the year, the Asian Hercules II will return to Stord for two more visits. The first visit will take place in October and involve the lift of three storage tanks
. The second visit is planned for December and will involve the transfer of the remaining lattice structure to the quayside.
Rik Zwinkels SMIT Sales Manager International says: "Asian Hercules II's flexibility and lift capacity facilitates the lift of heavy elements in a single operation. This is an extremely cost-effective method, saving valuable project time. The removal of the lattice frame as one element, for example, reduced onshore deconstruction costs for the client."
The 110,000 tonnes Maureen platform, which was operational in the North Sea, is the largest such installation yet to be decommissioned. Built in 1983, the platform ceased production during 1999. The steel tripod/gravity base structure is owned by Phillips Petroleum
, Fina Exploration, Agip (UK) Ltd, BG International Ltd and Pentex Oil UK Ltd.