About Monty’s ‘Reflections’ Blog

ABOUT MONTY’s  ‘REFLECTIONS’  BLOG.

POST entries.  Firstly, thank you for visiting my website and blog.  Posts on my blog site, mainly centre – but not solely, upon concerns for the state of the environment and wildlife conservation, both in the UK and globally.  Wildlife and landscape conservation are subjects that I’ve been involved with throughout most of my working-life.

Posts are mainly about current debates and concerns, but also garnished with my own observations and experiences and associated political stories circulating at the time. Having now been retired since February 2017, subjects posted are now more wide-ranging, for example, shipping.  I do hope you will enjoy and perhaps be informed by at least some of the posts.  If you so wish, please leave a comment on any article that you may have found of interest, feedback is always of interest.

PAGES entries, will be uploaded from time to time, which will feature longer, more in-depth articles on a particular subject.  Select a Page entry by clicking on the chosen title, below the ‘Reflections’ title page banner.

On the right-hand side of the Reflections home page you can: view Recent Posts; Archive of Posts; view the list of 17 Categories –                                                Brexit,  Climate Change,   Conservation,   Cultural,  Energy,   Development,  Farming,  Food,   Globalisation,   Health,   Historical,   Politics,  Pony Grazing,   Re-Cycling and Waste,  Shipping,   Sightings,  Weather.

For more environmental news and articles, visit my Twitter account at   @MontyLarkin

Recent Posts

Peering Above The Horizon is…

Pioneering Spirit.  As I sit, writing here at lunchtime on Tuesday 19th, looming above the horizon and more than half way to France is the Pioneering Spirit on passage to Kristiansand in southern Norway.

It is the world’s largest construction vessel, designed for the single-lift installation and removal of large oil and gas platforms and the installation of record-weight pipelines.  Designed by Swiss-based Allseas Group, the 382 m long, 124 m wide vessel was built in South Korea by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (2011–14) at a cost of €2.6 billion and commenced offshore operations in August 2016.

In June 2017, Pioneering Spirit commenced pipelaying for the first line of SouthStream Transport B.V’s dual 930-km Turkish Stream gas pipeline in the Black Sea.

Pioneering Spirit is the world’s largest vessel, in terms of its gross tonnage (403,342 gt), breadth (123.75 m / 406 ft.), and displacement (1,000,000 t).  The maximum 48,000 t (47,000-long-ton; 53,000-short-ton) topside lift capacity is achieved by operating as a semi-submersible. For removal of topsides, the vessel straddles the intended payload with the slot formed by the twin bows. The slot measures 122 m × 59 m (400 ft × 194 ft) (L×W). After straddling the payload, Pioneering Spirit takes on ballast to lower, and two sets of eight (one set per bow) retractable motion-compensated horizontal lifting beams are slid under the payload. Once the load is secure, the vessel offloads the ballast, rising in the water and partially transferring the load to the beams. In the final stage a fast lift system is used that lifts the payload up to 2.5 m in 15 s.

Two tilting lift beams for the installation or removal of steel jackets, up to 25,000 t (25,000 long tons; 28,000 short tons) in weight, will be located at the vessel’s stern.[25] A 5,000 t (4,900 long tons; 5,500 short tons) special purpose crane built by Huisman is scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2018. The tub mounted crane will be available for additional lifts for jacket and topsides installation such as pile handling and bridge installation.[26][27]

When equipped with the Stinger, Pioneering Spirit can be used to lay pipe. Pipe segments are welded together on board the vessel, then are placed on the Stinger, where they roll into the water. The Stinger is curved to guide the pipe to the bottom of the ocean. The Stinger itself weighs 4,200 tonnes (4,600 short tons) and measures 150 metres (490 ft) long and 65 metres (213 ft) wide. It is attached to the Stinger Transition Frame (STF), which provides an interface between the Stinger and the vessel; the STF is installed in the bow slot when attached to the vessel. The Stinger Transition Frame weighs more than 1,600 tonnes (1,800 short tons) by itself.

The vessel is equipped with eight, 20-cylinder (20V32/44CR) MAN 11,200 kW diesel generators providing a total installed power of 95 MW, driving 12 Rolls-Royce azimuth thrusters which provide dynamic positioning (DP3) and for propulsion. The vessel’s maximum speed is 14 knots. The accommodation has room for 571 persons in two-berth cabins.  Taken from Wikipedia.

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