UHL confirms takeover of 11 Zeamarine vessels
United Heavy Lift (UHL) has taken over a total of 11 vessels from financially distressed Zeamarine. The German shipping company will take over nine new eco-friendly heavy-lift vessels and two smaller ships on time charter contracts, the company confirms.
The nine eco-friendly heavy-lift vessels each have a cargo capacity of 14,100 deadweight tonnes and are capable of lifting loads of up to 900 tonnes. Being built in 2018 and 2019, most of the nine vessels have only just hit the water. They are sailing under the Portuguese flag.
“The nine newbuilding F900 vessels are a perfect match for our sustainability policy. Reducing the overall carbon footprint of our fleet while expanding the number of our vessel available to our customers, is our goal. The carbon emission of the eco-friendly F900 vessels is 30- 50% lower compared to the existing heavy-lift fleet in the market.”, comments managing director and co-owner Lars Rolner.
Following the takeover, the vessels will be renamed and carry the names UHL Falcon, UHL Fast, UHL Fame, UHL Flash, UHL Focus, UHL Fortune, UHL Frontier, UHL Fusion and UHL Future.
In addition to the nine new vessels, UHL has also taken over two other Zeamarine vessels, the Zea Mahaweli and Zea Kelani, which will be renamed Veronica and Valentina. These 2010-built vessels have a cargo intake of 12,346 tonnes and can lift up to 160 tonnes in tandem operation. Both vessels will be entering into the company’s West Africa service which it operates in partnership with Marguesa.
In February, UHL will also take over the Briese-controlled heavy-lift vessel BBC Spring, which is currently still on charter to BBC Chartering. This 2010-built vessel has a deadweight tonnage of 16,500 tonnes and can lift up 800 tonnes. BBC Chartering has confirmed to PCJ that it also has taken over vessels from Zeamarine. As previously reported, it concerns six 12,500 dwt vessels with a lift capacity of 500 tonnes.
Combined, this means that Zeamarine so far has redelivered 17 vessels to their owners, a quarter of its former 67-vessel strong fleet.
Bremen-based shipping company Zeamarine is offloading tonnage to deal with its financial problems. In December, the company announced a restructuring for which insolvency expert Sven Lundehn from Alldatax has been hired. Lundehn has taken over the management of Zeamarine from CCO Dominik Stehle and managing partner Jan Henrik Többe, who have both left the company.
In a brief statement in December, Zeamarine’s spokesperson Holger Römer said that the company can provide assurance that it is performing and that the shareholders are committed to the continuation of the business.
Lundehn has been brought in as managing director to re-establish the company and align the business strategy with the vision of the senior management, he said.