TPA panels set SEE MONSTER on course for a new life

09 Sep
Former gas platform finds a new lease of life, thanks to Mammoet and TPA.

A decommissioned offshore platform from the North Sea is on the path to a world-first new life, thanks in part to temporary roadways from specialist access solutions provider TPA.

The 450-tonne rig is set to become SEE MONSTER – one of the UK’s largest free public art installations - based in the Tropicana, a former 1930s lido on the seafront in Weston-Super-Mare, North Somerset. Its regeneration will champion the role of reuse, renewables and creativity, and is brought to life by creative studio NEWSUBSTANCE.

After a five-day voyage around the British coastline on a flatbed barge the size of a football pitch, SEE MONSTER was transported up the beach by SPMTs (Self-Propelled Modular Transporters) onto a 50m x 50m support platform of more than 200 of TPA’s heavy-duty aluminium panels. These have a 250-tonne point load, 1,000 tonne gross train weight, over 2% CBR ground.

A 50m system of panels can be fitted by a team of two people in 1-2 hours, which was just as well, as the pathway for the SPMTs had to be laid before and recovered from behind the rig between turns of the tide, which is notoriously fast in the area.

Despite the tight schedule, the project was fairly run of the mill for the TPA team which has previously employed the same working methods for the 60m-high reactors at Sellafield nuclear power plant in Cumbria which is also being decommissioned.

TPA project co-ordinator Scott Cameron said that despite the tight schedule, the SEE MONSTER project for logistics specialists Mammoet was “relatively simple”.

Mammoet’s role within the project was to support with the transportation of the rig from the Netherlands to the UK via barge, SPMTs and then finally a heavy lift from the beach onto its stand.

Once the platform was on its TPA support platform high up the beach, a 1,500-tonne crane lifted the 25m structure over the 4m walls of the lido onto its bright yellow pre-constructed legs within the Tropicana, a process which took over three hours. The entire construction will be 35m tall at its highest point.

Mammoet Head of Projects, David Holloway said: “The challenges that Mammoet faced during this project were to work within an extremely short window of opportunity to execute the beach landing with the barge. This was due to the tidal levels and required a lot of planning.

“TPA worked closely with us to support with the delivery and installation of aluminium roadway to create a portable roadway that did not sink away in the sand. The mats were used by Mammoet to drive the rig onto the SPMT trailers and on up the beach.”

He added: “This project involved Mammoet showcasing a range of disciplines including conventional transport, lifting with floating sheerleg, barge transportation, jacking and skidding operation, SPMT transport, and finally lifting with a crawler crane.

“Mammoet were delighted to work with TPA on this extremely complex project. From our point of view everything ran smoothly, and we were able to deliver this project within our planned timeframes. TPA are a valued partner for Mammoet and we look forward to working again with TPA on future projects.”

SEE MONSTER will feature four publicly accessible levels animated by a 10m waterfall, a 6,000-piece kinetic installation forming the monster’s shimmering scales, an onboard oasis of grasses, plants and trees selected to thrive in a seaside micro-climate, and a seated amphitheatre and broadcast studio.

SEE MONSTER’s phased opening has now begun, with access to the viewing platform available to the public, who can see the transformation of SEE MONSTER.  Guests will be able to board the monster from end September.

SEE MONSTER is brought to life by creative studio NEWSUBSTANCE and is part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of creativity, taking place across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and online from March to October 2022.