Agreement on wreck removal MV FLINTERSTAR off Belgian coast

By Vessels

Flinterstar III BV, the owner of the Dutch freighter MV FLINTERSTAR, has entered into a contract with a consortium of Belgian marine contractors to remove the wreck of the vessel which sank in the North Sea off the coast of Zeebrugge following a collision last October. The consortium will be headed by SCALDIS, a joint company of DEME, Jan De Nul and Herbosch-Kiere.

Mr Bart Otto, Director of Flinterstar lll BV, said: “Our primary concern has been that the wreck removal operation should be undertaken in the safest and most environmentally sensitive manner possible. With that in mind, we have been impressed throughout the tender process with the professional approach adopted by SCALDIS and their joint venture partners. We are confident that now the operation has been placed in their capable hands, it will go forward smoothly and be completed on schedule this summer.

Mr Martin Ockier, Board Member of SCALDIS: “We are very pleased to be awarded this contract. As SCALDIS was involved in the successful wreck removal of the TRICOLOR, we will apply the valuable experience gained to execute the optimum, bespoke method to the retrieval of MV Flinterstar. Our approach will be the most effective, safest and environmentally sensitive. The methodology will ensure that the duration of the offshore operation is kept as short as possible and causes the minimum possible interference to the shipping traffic. Environmental concerns were also fully evaluated in organising the appropriate disposal method of the wreck sections and cargo ashore.”

Agreement on wreck removal MV FLINTERSTAR off Belgian coast

Heavy-lift vessel Rambiz - Image: Scaldis

Now the contract has been awarded, SCALDIS will start the detailed preparation and mobilisation phases in order to commence on-site operations as quickly as possible in the coming weeks.

At present, although the wreck is upright on the seabed, it is separated into two sections. In brief, the overall methodology is based on lifting the two sections from the seabed and placing each section onto a barge. It is SCALDIS’ intention to first remove the cargo.

Simultaneously, the lifting points and/or lifting chains/slings will be installed underneath the wreck. Each wreck section will be lifted by SCALDIS’ powerful, 3300 tonne capacity Rambiz heavy lift vessel and positioned onto a transport barge then transported for appropriate disposal. It is anticipated the wreck removal operation will be completed this summer - weather permitting.

FLINTERSTAR is a 2002 built Dutch flagged cargo/container ship, which had a collision with LNG tanker mv Al Oraiq in the buoyed fairway "Scheur, in the approaches to Zeebrugge, in the early morning hours of October 6th 2015. Shortly after the collision MV “Flinterstar’, partly loaded with construction steel and crane parts, grounded outside the channel, to the southeast of buoy “Scheur 3. Since November 2nd, a “guard vessel”, operated by the Authorities, has remained permanently on scene.

In January 2016, the Authorities issued a wreck removal order, as the vessel was perceived to present a potential danger to shipping and the environment.

SCALDIS, a joint company of DEME, Jan De Nul and Herbosch-Kiere, is a marine contractor specialized in the transportation and installation of offshore structures with a core business and expertise in salvage/wreck removal and heavy lifting.

Working on a worldwide basis, SCALDIS has earned a reputation as a solid and reliable partner to contractors and clients and provides turnkey and cost-effective solutions for projects with its multi-purpose heavy lift vessels.

SCALDIS’ heavy lift vessel, Rambiz, has a unique arrangement having two cranes, shallow draft, large deck space and extensive accommodation facilities The combination of two deck cranes enables the Rambiz to lift unusual structures that would otherwise require two separate vessels. The two cranes can work independently or be synchronized to provide an unrivalled flexibility in handling structures.

Taking into account the future development of the offshore industry SCALDIS has contracted to build a new and innovative self-propelled heavy lift vessel, making use of the unique features of the Rambiz yet improving on certain aspects.

Source: Deme Group