World’s largest construction vessel — spectacular pictures

Pioneering Spirit and Iron Lady on River Forth Pic Peter Devlin

Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit, the world’s largest construction vessel, is caught on camera as as she off loads cargo during a complex marine operation on the River Forth.

Forth Ports has released some stunning pictures of the construction vessel, Pioneering Spirit, as she took part in a complex marine operation on the River Forth over the weekend.

At 382 metres long and 124 metres wide, the ship is the world’s largest construction vessel and is specially designed for the single-lift and removal of large offshore platforms.

In an operation spanning two days, Pioneering Spirit, transferred a huge cargo consisting of a topside drilling platform onto the 200 metre cargo barge, the Iron Lady. After the successful transfer, the ship separated from the barge and sailed for the North Sea.

Cargo safely stowed, the Iron Lady was then towed westward in a carefully planned operation to ensure the massive drilling platform cleared the iconic Forth Bridge, then the forth Road Bridge and finally the Queensferry Crossing, before berthing alongside at the Port of Rosyth.

Stuart Wallace, Chief Operating Officer at Forth Ports, said:

“It was a truly spectacular sight to see this huge vessel offloading its cargo within our deep water on the River Forth. Watching the Iron Lady towed safely into the Port of Rosyth by our tugs against the backdrop of all three Forth crossings was a bit special too.

“However, we can expect to see sights like these more and more frequently as oil and gas decommissioning projects from the North Sea and elsewhere gather momentum. The Forth Estuary’s deep and sheltered water, alongside the decommissioning facilities on both the River Forth and River Tay, make this an ideal location for operations like this weekend’s.” 

Pic Peter Devlin
Image: Peter Devlin.
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