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Hochtief has new partner for construction and operation of special-purpose

July 11 - Further to our report of June 10, Hochtief has a new partner for the construction and operation of offshore special-purpose jack-up vessels.

GeoSea, a company within the Belgian DEME Group, has taken over the 50 percent shareholding in Beluga Hochtief Offshore GmbH & Co. KG, from Beluga Offshore. The share acquisition is subject to approval by the relevant merger regulation authorities.

The company's new name will be HGO Infra Sea Solutions GmbH & Co. KG with both partners have a 50 percent shareholding. The parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

HGO Infra Sea Solutions develops, constructs, manages and charters special-purpose vessels used to build and maintain offshore wind farms and oil and gas facilities.

Henner Mahlstedt, ceo of Hochtief Solutions said: "The services of the two companies complement each other perfectly and make the joint company into an even more powerful player. Since there is huge demand for offshore installation equipment, we are planning the construction of further special-purpose vessels."

HGO Infra Sea Solutions is currently constructing the "Innovation I" - claimed to be the most sophisticated heavy-duty jack-up lifting vessel on the offshore market. A technical innovation, this vessel with a payload of 8,000 tonnes and a crane capable of lifting 1,500 tonnes will operate in water depths of up to 50 m starting in mid-2012. It is ideally suited for the installation of all types of offshore foundations and is the only one of its kind in the world, says the company. Innovation I will be used for the first time at the Global Tech I offshore wind farm. It has already been chartered long-term.

Alain Bernard, CEO of the DEME Group, says: "It will be the equipment of choice for the installation of turbines of 5 to 10 MW. nnovation I will significantly reduce the assembly and servicing times required for the latest generation of offshore wind turbines. In the oil and gas sector, the vessel is ideally suited for a wide range of operations."

Nordsee-GeoSea (DEME) and Hochtief Solutions are already working together elsewhere: In 2010 the two companies founded a joint venture which delivers and erects foundations for the German Baltic wind farm EnBW Baltic 2 and handles the logistics for the erection of the towers and turbines.

Readers will recall that previously Hochtief had confirmed that it was itself seeking to acquire the shares which it did not already own in Beluga Hochtief Offshore.

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