The world’s largest construction vessel has completed a large-scale operation in the Firth of Forth.
Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit, the largest vessel of its type in the world, sailed into Fife on Saturday.
Measuring 382 metres long and 124 metres wide, it transferred a topside drilling to the 200 metre long barge, Iron Lady, on Sunday morning.
With a lifting capacity of 48,000 tonnes the Pioneering Spirit is specially designed for the single-lift installation and removal of large offshore platforms.
The ship was visible from both sides of the Forth Estuary.
‘A truly spectacular sight’
Stuart Wallace, chief operating officer at Forth Ports, said: “It was a truly spectacular sight to see this huge vessel offloading its cargo within our deep water on the River Forth.
“Watching the Iron Lady towed safely into the Port of Rosyth by our tugs against the backdrop of all three Forth crossings was a bit special too.
“However, we can expect to see sights like these more and more frequently as oil and gas decommissioning projects from the North Sea and elsewhere gather momentum.
“The Forth Estuary’s deep and sheltered water, alongside the decommissioning facilities on both the River Forth and River Tay, make this an ideal location for operations like this weekend’s.”
Track the vessel via Marine Traffic.
With its cargo safely secured to its deck, the Iron Lady was then towed westwards along the River Forth by Forth Ports’ tugs, the Craigleith, Inchkeith and Fidra.
It was a carefully planned operation to ensure the structure had sufficient clearance to transit below the Forth Bridge, then the Forth Road Bridge and finally under the Queensferry Crossing before berthing alongside at the Port of Rosyth.
It is scheduled to remain moored at the Port of Rosyth for around six weeks before being towed back east along the river to the Energy Park Fife in Methil, where its cargo will be unloaded for decommissioning.