SAL Heavy Lift expands fleet with three large vessels

SAL Heavy Lift will buy three “large ladies” capable of lifting 800 tonnes from Heino Winter Group. The vessels will join SAL’s global semi-liner service as many of the company’s existing heavy-lift vessels are tied up in renewable and oil & gas projects.

The 2011- and 2012-built 1A ice-class vessels each have a cargo capacity of 19,100 tonnes and are equipped with two 400-tonne cranes and one smaller 120-tonne crane. In a tandem operation, they can lift loads up to 800 tonnes.

Commercial management of the Atlantic Winter, Pacific Winter and Baltic Winter is currently carried out by United Heavy Lift but the ships will soon be returned to Heino Winter Group, which has agreed to sell the vessels to SAL for an undisclosed sum.

The vessels will join the SAL Fleet in the first quarter of 2020 as the Hanna, Klara and Lisa, named after family members of Heino Winter who will continue to handle the technical ship management of the three vessels. “We have a long-lasting relation with the Winter family and I am happy to see their continued involvement with these three ‘large ladies'”, says Martin Harren, CEO of SAL Heavy Lift.

The vessels will serve clients along SAL’s main trade lanes between Europe and the Far East as well as the Africa service, while many of the company’s other heavy-lift vessels are tied up in offshore projects. Earlier this year, SAL equipped two of its strongest vessels, the Lone and Svenja, with fly-jibs to carry out offshore installation work.

“I am very happy that we have been able to add these vessels to our heavy-lift fleet. This way SAL will be able to service clients who may at times look for ships that can take larger volumes of cargo in combination with heavy lift items”, Harren says.

With the addition of the new vessels, SAL’s fleet will consist of 22 heavy-lift vessels with combined lift capacities of up to 2,000 tonnes. Additionally, the company also operates 6 dock vessels in a pool with Rolldock.

United Heavy Lift

For United Heavy Lift (UHL), returning the three vessels to Heino Winter Group means the company is losing some of its heavy-lift capable vessels. According to its website, UHL currently operates a fleet of 9 module carriers and six geared vessels of which five can lift up to 800 tonnes.

The company has already secured one replacing heavy-lift vessel. “We have taken delivery of the sister vessel BBC Spring, which is identical to the vessels leaving the fleet”, UHL’s managing director Lars Bonnesen tells PCJ. “Additionally, we have two deck carriers under construction and just signed long-term charter agreements for two multipurpose vessels. We will also keep looking for more heavy-lift vessels, but it would have to be good deals”, he adds.

In September, United Heavy Lift started a new cooperation with Ocean 7 Projects saying their fleets complement each other well. Ocean 7 operates a fleet of 23 mostly geared multipurpose vessels with lift capabilities of up to 500 tonnes.

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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