No “significant structural damage” to the Saipem 7000 has been uncovered after the vessel endured a major lifting malfunction last week.
As a result Italian offshore contractor Saipem says the semi-submersible crane could return “partial” action as early as the beginning of June.
While carrying out a five-year crane lift test in Norwegian waters, a lock wire broke, causing the Saipem 7000 to drop two cargo barges into the sea.
The release of the load caused the 198 metre vessel to tilt dramatically, with a number of observers sharing images and videos online.
It subsequently returned to an upright position and nobody was injured in the incident.
Rescue at sea. Ongoing situation
One of the biggest Crane vessels in the world, tilting after a sudden explosion 20 min's ago. 275 ppl on board #Stavanger #Åmøyfjorden #Norway #Saipem7000 #MaritimeSecurity pic.twitter.com/dM8LePv8Dd
— Sea & son (@OnDeepWater) April 14, 2022
Saipem (MILAN: SPM) blamed the incident on a block wire breaking and immediately launched a crane assessment.
In its first quarter results, released on on Thursday, the Milan-listed firm revealed that, other than the damage to the crane itself, the Saipem 7000 escaped largely unscather.
Moreover its second crane will be goodto go once the precautionary checks are completed.
Saipem said: “Further to a preliminary assessment, the main block wire of crane no. 1 broke during the test for reasons yet to be determined, and the testing load (two cargo barges) with the main block of said crane were released in the water. The unit, after an initial tilting caused by the load release, promptly returned to a stable position and safe condition.
“The assessments carried out so far have not shown any significant structural damage other than those to crane no. 1. In particular, the integrity of the ship’s hull is confirmed. Crane no. 2, which was not involved in the test operations, can be put into service at the end of the precautionary checks in progress. Based on the information available, it is reasonable to expect that the Saipem 7000 vessel will be able to return to operation starting from June, even if with partial use of the lifting capacity.”
News that the Saipem 7000 could be back in the game within two months will be welcome news to SSE Renewables and TotalEnergies.
Prior to its planned trip to Norway, the vessel was working on the installation of the pair’s Seagreen offshore wind farm.
The Saipem 700 had been due to return to the offshore wind farm, Scotland’s largest, at the end of the month to begin the next campaign.
Saipem reported pre-tax losses for the first quarter of 2022 of £54 million, an improvement on the same period last year when the company lost £75m.
Revenue for Q1 totalled £1.6bn, while capital expenditure was £37m.
During the first three months of the year Saipem was awarded new contracts amounting to £1.96bn, and its order backlog as of March was £18.459bn.
The company also said it “continues to operate in full compliance with provisions” regarding international sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
Saipem is “monitoring the continuous evolution of the situation” in order to assess its impacts and has taken measures to “protect its rights and interests”.
It has a total project backlog in Russia of £1.4bn, of which £180m is for schemes “included in Saipem’s scope of consolidation”.