August 2 - Allseas has completed commissioning of the topsides lift system and a major part of the harbour test programme on its installation, decommissioning and pipelay vessel Pioneering Spirit in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

All 12 installed topside lifting beams on board the ship have been tested to their respective lifting capacities of up to 3,700 tonnes. The last four tests involved four beams lifting a unit weight of 14,700 tonnes.

During harbour trials, the 12 beams lifted over 40,000 tonnes in total.

Pioneering Spirit is now expected to perform offshore trials and test platform topsides installation and removal exercises in the southern part of the North Sea throughout August.

Once further testing has been completed and the necessary approvals are in place, the vessel is scheduled to remove the 13,500-tonne Yme mobile offshore production unit off the coast of Norway for global energy company Repsol.

Following removal of the Yme platform, Pioneering Spirit will return to Rotterdam where the remaining four topside lifting beams will be installed for the removal of the Shell Brent Delta topsides, which is scheduled to take place in the summer of 2017.