Following a £750k investment, Brimmond now boasts one of the largest rental fleets of high-capacity marine cranes in the UK. Combined with the growth of our team of specialist technicians, this expanded capability has seen us working on an increasing number of decommissioning projects in recent months.

We are well placed to tackle what is a recognised challenge in the decommissioning sector: projects are repeatedly held up as a direct result of the aging platform cranes’ operability and reliability. This not only has implications for the safety of personnel, but also for the subsequent downtime caused by delays in lifting activities.

These aging cranes are often de-rated, meaning there are limitations placed on their lift capacity and the weather conditions in which they are allowed to operate. Given that the North Sea is not renowned for its balmy climate, this leads to delays, which then impacts on project timescales and budgets.

At Aberdeenshire-based engineering and manufacturing specialists, Brimmond, we have experience in providing temporary lifting solutions to support wellhead operations, reducing the reliance on platform cranes, and enhancing the safety and efficiency of these operations.

Plug and abandonment

Recent projects in the UKCS saw Brimmond resolve complex installation challenges on two aging assets in the UKCS, by supplying their 175txm marine crane packages. Provided in modules that remain within the platform crane’s lifting capacity, they were fully assembled in-situ by Brimmond’s experienced team of offshore technicians.

To minimise the use of the platform cranes during assembly, the packages were supported by a frame, with sections being lifted into positions using a spreader bar frame. Our install objective was to be as self-sufficient as possible and avoid any reliance on platform cranes.

Brimmond’s fleet of rental cranes can also be deployed to take on some of the day-to-day workload of the platform cranes, as well as specific P&A activities, via a pre-installed skidding system.

Vessel decommissioning (mattress recovery)

Mattress recovery campaigns in the North Sea require recovered concrete mattresses to be stacked precisely, with the objective of having the maximum pile height achievable.

Historically this has proved challenging for our clients using the larger existing vessel cranes on campaigns. Brimmond’s solution is to provide compact knuckle boom marine crane packages with long outreach (typically 21m) which have deck coverage for stacking mattresses, while allowing the existing vessel cranes to focus on recovery.

On several projects this expedited operations, enabling them to run safely, efficiently, and be completed in a shorter timeframe. These packages were supported for the duration of hire by Brimmond technicians and our qualified and certified operators. They typically use the crane remote control to get closer to riggers and mattresses, resulting in the piles being 20% higher on average. Our rental cranes are offered with attachments including Clamshell Buckets for any debris removal and Pipe Manipulators for the relocation of spool pieces.

UK’s longest reach marine knuckle boom cranes

Having identified that deck coverage on platforms and vessels is integral to supporting our clients’ decommissioning projects, we have invested in two top-quality marine cranes with 6 extensions and an impressive 27 metres outreach. This allows us to offer the longest reach marine knuckle boom cranes available for hire in the UK.

These cranes have been specifically designed to cover a wide range of decommissioning lifting projects. One of these cranes is now at our premises and available, with the second due for completion in February. The two new cranes are longer versions of our existing popular rental 175txm crane previously utilised on North Sea platforms.

As the global energy industry transitions towards a net zero future, and decommissioning activity ramps up across the North Sea and beyond, it will become increasingly important to draw on innovative solutions such as these, which prioritise safety and efficiency.

Brimmond offer tailored marine crane packages, drawing on our world-leading range of rental and stock marine cranes, augmented by our team of skilled technicians who provide installation and maintenance.