Heerema's Sleipnir, the world's largest semi-submersible crane vessel demonstrated at the weekend that despite its size, the vessel could navigate through even the tightest of spaces. Sleipnir entered the Karmsund Strait en route to Haugesund, Norway, to lift Equinor's Snorre A Module. The vessel lifted the module directly from the quayside at Aibel's yard.
In the Karmsund Strait, the narrowest point was 134 meters, leaving Sleipnir fifteen meters of clearance on each side. A remarkable feat that was possible due to a multi-party collaboration with the Norwegian Hydrographic Services working on the S102 project and Kongsberg. The S102 project is working to enhance safety at sea by making maritime geographical information available to all users of Norway's coastal and marine areas with the technical support of Kongsberg.
The information shared between these parties enabled Heerema's simulation center to demonstrate that this project was possible. Heerema enacted three simulations from our Simulation Center in Leiden to confirm that this pioneering project could go ahead. The simulation team took into account factors such as currents, tidal shifts, and wind. By picking up the module from the quayside, there was no requirement for a cargo barge, eliminating the need for loading the module out onto a barge or for barge grillage. This exercise saved costs and demonstrated that we could get things done swiftly, enabling clients to have more time to work on the offshore structures we install.
This operation was particularly special due to the clearances of Sleipnir with the seabed, which at times were down to six meters. With the support of the S102 team, we could see the clearances in real-time using their demonstrator. Therefore, this operation was successful due to the collaboration between Heerema and many other supporting organizations that came together in this remarkable project. With thanks to our client Equinor, the yard Aibel, the S102 team, and Kongsberg.
It is essential to note that all companies involved followed the strict government guidelines to protect their workforces during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Safeguarding our workforce and those who work with us is always our top priority.