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3, 2, 1 – action! – The world’s biggest lift takes centre stage

Absolutely nothing is left to chance. Everything is choreographed down to the smallest detail and everyone has a role to play as if it were a Hollywood production, when the largest platform - the 16,600-tonne processing topside - is lifted into place on six legged jackets in the North Sea in 2022.

That corresponds to a weight of more than two Eiffel Towers and an area of one and a half football pitches, which will be raised and put in place by the world’s largest floating crane in a single lift.

The processing platform contains the Tyra II field’s production facilities. This is where natural gas is processed before it is sent ashore.

The plant is more than 54 metres high, and it all has to stand on six jackets 28 metres above the surface of the sea. Simply starting the installation of the processing platform is a unique achievement in itself. A new world record will be set for the heaviest crane lift ever undertaken on the open sea when the huge platform is put into position.

A Hollywood script
This is how Jens Kolster describes the work that needs to be done when the module is lifted into place. He is the Decommissioning, Transport & Installation Manager for Tyra Redevelopment at TotalEnergies EP Danmark.

“Everything follows a very detailed and thoroughly prepared manual written by engineers, experts and specialists. Everything is handled point by point and the more than 200 persons involved all have a defined role to play. The two crane operators play the starring roles; from each crane cabin they have to execute this impressive lifting operation with a precision of down to a few millimetres,” says Jens Kolster, adding:

This requires a lot of coordination when the time comes to lower it onto the six existing jackets out in the North Sea, 40 metres down to the seafloor

- Jens Kloster, TotalEnergies EP Denmark

“Everything is monitored very closely. Do this first and then that. Cross it off the list. It’s like when a pilot runs through a checklist before taking off in an aeroplane. This is how the two crane operators make progress with their work, sitting 50 metres up in the air, with the processing platform hanging between them from separate hooks. This requires a lot of coordination when the time comes to lower it onto the six existing jackets out in the North Sea, 40 metres down to the seafloor.”

To be completely honest, the huge crane vessel is very unusual and is like no other crane of its kind. You could call it a hotel. But you probably shouldn’t tell that to our families back home

- Jens Kloster, TotalEnergies EP Denmark

The most important prop – the world’s largest floating crane
The processing platform is being built in Batam in Indonesia and will be shipped to Denmark in 2022 in a single piece.

After it arrives in the North Sea, installation will start and the crane vessel, the Sleipnir, which is longer than four Olympic swimming pools at 220 metres, will take over.

The enormous vessel will need to use both of its two cranes, each of which is capable of lifting 10,000 tonnes, to put the heavy platform into position.

Stability and calm are crucial factors here. Fortunately, the Sleipnir is a very seaworthy vessel. Jens Kloster explains:

“In the old days, people used to sail out to the work area and lay anchors, but today the anchors have been replaced by intelligent control systems, which keep the vessel in position at all times. In other words, the enormous ship is afloat at sea but it maintains its precise position by means of a complicated positioning system. The ship measures the weather, wind and wave conditions and uses this information to compensate and keep the ship perfectly stable at all times. It is the most advanced system in the world and it means that the enormous vessel will only move a few centimetres even in harsh wind or wave conditions,” says Jens Kloster.

A floating hotel
This is the heaviest lift that has been carried out in the world to date. It takes about six hours and the total work period for lifting the platform and the subsequent assembly and welding will take about ten days. Fortunately, the crew onboard will not get bored in the meantime.

“To be completely honest, the huge crane vessel is very unusual and is like no other crane of its kind. You could call it a hotel. But you probably shouldn’t tell that to our families back home,” says Jens Kloster, laughing as he talks about life onboard.

“There are multiple sports pitches and indoor activities, and we hold tournaments out there, including basketball and table tennis. If the weather is good, we fill up the outdoor pool. The food is also really good. You almost need to go on a diet after you’ve been out there. Luckily, there is also a large fitness room onboard,” says Jens Kloster, smiling.

 

Facts:
The Tyra II processing platform is 110 metres long, 40 metres wide and 54 metres high.
It weighs 16,600 tonnes.

Fully equipped, the platform will weigh 21,000 tonnes.
The highest point in the field will be a chimney 160 metres above sea level.