US project carrier Intermarine said yesterday that it has reached agreement with Chinese financing partners about the addition of six multipurpose/heavy lift newbuildings to its operated fleet over the coming years.
The 13,300 dwt Ecolift F900-type ships, which will be equipped with cranes for safe working loads up to 900 tonnes in combined operation, will join Intermarine under long-term charter arrangements between mid-2017 and the end of 2018, the company said. The ships will be owned and financed by CSSC Leasing, a subsidiary of state-owned China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC), and construction will take place at the Hudong and Wenchong shipyards in China.
This latest deal follows the announcement earlier this year of the forward fixtures of 15 slightly smaller Ecolift F500-type multipurpose newbuildings for long periods from German shipowners.
The latest newbuildings are due to be delivered from the second quarter of 2016.
The new F900’s with their greater lifting capacity will be required to serve existing cargo clients with their evolving needs for heavier lifts, Intermarine said in a press release. Its contingent of vessels with lifting capabilities exceeding 800 tonnes will thus increase from six to 12. According to Dutch market analyst Dynamar’s sector ranking from April this year, Intermarine is the ninth-largest project/multipurpose operator in terms of deadweight capacity, with an operated fleet of 44 ships and 420,000 dwt of aggregated carrying capacity.