Haewene Brim FPSO refurbishment, Nigg Yard Scotland UK

Project facts

Description Haewene Brim FPSO refurbishment, Nigg Yard Scotland
Client Muehlhan Surface Protection Ltd
Duration 26 days
Challenge To provide tailored access solution for maintenance of a large vessel in restricted timeframe

The ability to supply the most effective, safe and highly versatile solution for an unusual project has led to SGB (Formerly Harsco Infrastructure)providing a sophisticated access solution for a major ship refurbishment project in Scotland.

SGB provided six twin-mast, Alimak Hek MSHF, mobile mast climbing units which were used to clean, repair, blast and repaint the 66,538 ton Hæwene Brim – a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel owned and operated by leading international oil industry company, Bluewater Energy Services B.V. Harsco has been appointed as an access solution provider by Muehlhan Surface Protection Ltd who is working for Bluewater as an industrial services sub contractor.

“Given that this was a time-critical project, using scaffolding to provide access was not practical as it would have taken far too long to install and then strike,” says SGB’s Site Service Manager, Joe Smith. “There would also have been issues with the space required to construct the scaffold. However, mastclimbers were ideal as they could be put into place in a fraction of the time.”

SGB’s Mastclimbers™ were also well suited to the physical profile of the wene Brim as it has an unusual, 252 m long flat-bottomed hull, with smooth, vertical sides. “The Mastclimbers™ were ideally suited to these vertical surfaces,” adds Joe.

The refurbishment process involved different stages done in strict sequences:

  • High pressure cleaning and shot blasting
  • Prime coating
  • Specialist painting

Each platform was 25 m long and stood freely on mobile chassis reaching heights of 25 m where each had a top tie installed for additional support. This allowed Muehlhan Surface Protection Ltd full height uninterupted access to the ship’s hull for the required work.

The maintenance work on Hæwene Brim took place in a dry dock at Nigg Yard, near Invergordon in Scotland, owned by Global Energy Services. The dock itself had to be drained before the Mastclimbers could be installed. In order to keep the overall project schedule as short as possible, SGB assembled the Mastclimbers™off site, and delivered them to Nigg Yard fully assembled allowing for quick installation just with the support of a crane on the site. They were used to access the starboard side first, and then moved to the port side,” adds Joe Smith. “That meant that we had to be very flexible and responsive to the changing needs and timings that we encountered during the 26-day project.”

To provide access to the more difficult-to-reach areas around the bow and the stern, where the profile of the hull changed, Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) were used. This type of solution is also available from SGB.

This was a fairly unusual project, but it really demonstrates how Harsco is able to provide a totally bespoke combination of equipment and expertise which is designed to suit individual requirements.

"This time-crucial project required a unique solution. SGB has taken on the challenge and using the Mastclimbers they delivered a successfull and safe project."

John McDonald, Project Manager, Muehlhan Surface Protection Ltd

“I found SGB Mastclimbers to be very practical and productive for shipyard work. They eliminate a great deal of time for scaffolding, cherry pickers, and other means of access to high areas. I would recommend them for a great number of projects in the USA as I am in a position to make such recommendation as to the use of Mast Climbers.”

Alec Angus, Hull & Tanks Supervisor, Bluewater Energy Services B.V.

Hæwene Brim

  • Ship Type: Floating Production Storage + Offloading FPSO
  • Year Built: 1996
  • Length x Breadth: 252 m X 42 m
  • Gross Tonnage: 66538 t
  • Dead Weight: 103854 t
  • Speed recorded (Max / Average): 5.1 / 5.1 knots

The Hæwene Brim was built in 1996 at Samsung ship yard, Korea, as a so-called Multi-purpose Shuttle Tanker (MST), meaning she could be employed in various modes as a Dynamically Positioned (DP) shuttle tanker and adapted to be converted to a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) or a deep-water drilling vessel. The conversion to an FPSO took place at Aker McNulty yard in Newcastle (UK) by her previous owners in late 1997-1998 and started operating at the Pierce field early in 1999.

Since 1999, the Hæwene Brim FPSO installation has been operational at the Pierce field in the UK sector of the North Sea for client Shell UK Exploration & Production. Bluewater purchased the Hæwene Brim in 2001.


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