The largest crane ship of the world has set sail from the shipyard in Korea to Rotterdam Port in the Netherlands. Named as Pieter Schelte, this crane ship is capable of lifting oil rigs. The ship left South Korea on Wednesday and is due to arrive at the port for completion in December.
The crane ship measures 124m (407 ft) in width and 382m (1253ft) in length, which is as long as the height of the empire state building. Costing around £1.9 billion ($2.97billion), this crane ship is designed to assist offshore oil rigs. Swiss Company Allseas, specialising in offshore pipeline installations and subsea construction, commissioned the Pieter Schelte. It is being named as the biggest ship in the world, though the title is still being contested. The main purpose of crane ships is lifting heavy loads and assisting in offshore constructions, unlike oil tankers and container vessels.
Through the Port of Rotterdam, the ship will be taken to Maasvlakte 2, an extension of the port where the vessel will be housed in a pit that has been specially drained. After it is completed, the crane ship will set sail to the South Stream project in the Black Sea to lay pipelines there. Offshore oil and gas rigs will be installed and removed via the ship and pipelines will be laid as well. According to Allseas, Pieter Schelte was built by Daewoo Heavy Industries in South Korea and will be able to lift 48,000 tons of loads.
The company plans to build an even bigger vessel; a sister ship that will hold dimensions of 160m (525ft) width and 400m (1,312ft) length. It will be able to lift as much as 77,000 tons. Expected to work on the largest oil rigs in the world, this vessel ship will be active by 2020.
The title of world’s largest ship is hard to define. The largest floating vessel, at present, is the 488m long Shell Prelude. It is a platform for liquefied natural gas, anchored in a South Korean Port. However, the vessel was unable to propel itself and is questioned for if it can be classified as a “ship”.
The world’s largest vessel that can propel itself is the Maersk Triple E class; a family of container ships, each of which measure 400m (1,312ft) in length. Check out the youtube video below for more details: