November 11 - A new heavy lift chartering and shipping company has been founded, Ocean7 Projects, operating a fleet of multipurpose and heavy lift vessels.

Ocean7 Projects has established itself as a commercial entity by combining the separate capacities of MLB-Denmark, Spain and Italy - formerly subsidiaries of German shipping line Manfred Lauterjung Befrachtung. The previous three MLB trading names have since been terminated and will now trade exclusively under the Ocean7 Projects banner.

Two of the individuals behind the start of Ocean7 are Stefan Petersen and Peter Grau, who both worked for prior to MLB. The two people leading the offices in Bilbao and Genoa are Santiago Fontecilla and Paola Ghiani, who are also former employees.  The new company will have offices in Denmark, Spain and Italy and HLPFI understands an office will be established in the UK, with other offices outside Europe likely in the longer term.

In addition to its regular fleet that includes general cargo, multipurpose and general cargo/container vessels, Ocean7 Projects has been appointed commercial managers for up to six 4,200 dwt multipurpose/heavy-lift newbuild ships.

According to a statement from Ocean7, each newbuild will be an open top, bridge forward specification and have a top speed of 16 knots; each vessel will come equipped with two 150-tonne lift capacity cranes capable of lifting up to 300 tonnes in tandem. The new capacity is scheduled for delivery during November 2013.