Energy / Port Authority upbeat after successfully completing platform transfer

LERWICK Port Authority has released a time-lapse video documenting the transfer of the 14,200 tonne Ninian Northern topside from the barge Iron Lady to the decommissioning pad at Dales Voe.

The complex operation to slide the topside 185 metres from the barge to the newly-built heavy duty concrete pad was undertaken over two days.


The process involved synchronising the barge to the quayside to remain absolutely level and a push/pull system of hydraulic engines sliding the total transfer weight of 16,200 tonnes, including skid equipment, along a purpose-built skid rails.

The Ninian Northern structure arrived from the North Sea field on Friday on Allseas’ construction vessel Pioneering Spirit following a swift single lift offshore.

The new decommissioning pad has an impermeable surface with a 60 tonne per square metre loading, which matches the quayside capacity.

Chief executive Captain Calum Grains said this was Lerwick Port Authority’s biggest decommissioning project yet.

“The successful delivery of the topside by Pioneering Spirit and the smooth operation to safely move the deck onto the base is another demonstration of the port’s capacity and capabilities to handle large decommissioning projects,” he said.

An industry partnership of Peterson and Veolia now aims to dismantle the Ninian Northern with a target over 97 per cent of reuse or recycling.

Video by Rory Gillies/Shetland Flyer Aerial Media for Lerwick Port Authority.