30th May 2017, Rotterdam, Press Release


Kotug International’s offshore division has successfully assisted Allseas with the transfer and transport of Shell’s Brent Delta topsides after the record-setting removal of the structure by Pioneering Spirit.

Kotug was mainly involved in the assistance of the cargo barge Iron Lady during the transfer of the topsides from the Pioneering Spirit to the Iron Lady and the ensuing tow of the barge to the Able UK decommissioning yard in Teesside, North East England.

After the Pioneering Spirit safely lifted the Brent Delta platform, it was seafastened and sailed to a location offshore Hartlepool, UK, where the platform was transferred from the Pioneering Spirit to the Iron lady.

This transfer was assisted by KOTUG, who operated and oversaw four harbour tugs which took over the Iron Lady in order to bring it under the Brent Delta platform in the slot of Pioneering Spirit.

Subsequently, the same four harbour tugs towed the Iron Lady carrying the topsides out of the slot of the Pioneering Spirit into the river Tees, for the remaining part of the transport to the decommissioning yard.

With the entrance channel to the Able UK decommissioning yard being narrow and tidal restricted, this final part of the journey required in-depth towage expertise and powerful, versatile tugs. Kotug and Allseas chose to deploy two Rotortugs and two ASD tugs in order to create maximum redundancy and manoeuvrability in the tug configuration.

KOTUG Tow Master Bas van Hoorn commented: “We have worked for Allseas in previous offshore projects and we were honoured to be selected for this ground-breaking project as well. The towage operations were carefully prepared in close cooperation with Allseas, with extensive calculations and risk assessments to determine the safest and most efficient towage plan for the Iron Lady. Thanks to great collaboration with the tug crew, Tees pilots, Allseas team (on board and ashore) and Shell, we can look back on a job well done!”


KOTUG is a leading towage operator offering its innovative services to ports and terminals on a global scale. With a young and powerful fleet, its dedicated staff and well-trained crew KOTUG operates in a variety of markets including terminal towage, harbour towage, offshore operations and salvage operations. Headquartered in The Netherlands, KOTUG is active in Europe, Russia, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Caribbean and continues to expand its operations worldwide. Our long-standing knowledge is consolidated in KOTUG’s Maritime Excellence Center which provides training and consultancy. KOTUG is family-owned and firmly committed to the highest industry standards of health, safety, environment, quality and security. More information: www.kotug.com

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