Thialf has two cranes with a combined maximum lifting capacity of 14,200 metric tons, making it the largest crane vessel in the world. but has lower height lifting capabilities than its competitor Saipem 7000 (which has lifting capability of 14,000 tonnes at 42 meters while the Thialf can lift 14,200 tonnes at 31.2 meters).
It is equipped with a class III dynamic positioning system. Propulsion and position keeping is by six 5,500 kW retractable azimuthing thrusters. For shallow waters there are 12 Flipper Delta anchors, 22.5 t, with 2,500 meter, 80 mm mooring wire.
The hull consists of two pontoons with four columns each. Transit draught is about 12 metres. For lifting operations it will normally be ballasted down to 26.6 m (87 ft). This way the pontoons (with a draught of 13.6 metres) are well submerged to reduce the effect of waves and swell.
It is able to accommodate 736 people.
Lightship weight is 72,484 t
- Installing the pylon of the Erasmus Bridge in 1995.
- Decommissioning of the Brent Spar in 1998.
- In 2000 it set a world record of 11,883 t by lifting Shell’s Shearwater topsides, beaten by Saipem 7000 in 2004 with the Sabratha deck lifting of 12,150 t.
- In 2004 it installed the topsides on BP’s Holstein, at the time the world’s largest spar. The lift was a record for the Gulf of Mexico: 7,810 t. The actual record for Gulf of Mexico is now retained by the Saipem 7000 with the 9,521 t of PEMEX PB-KU-A2 deck installed in March 2007.
- In 2005 it installed the heaviest single piece foundation piles: 2.74 meters diameter x 190 meters long, weighing 818 t each for Chevron’s Benguela Belize compliant tower.