This week's round up of news from the world of heavy lift and project forwarding.

As the price of oil crashes to its lowest price since 2009, difficult oilfields that looked like potential goldmines when crude fetched more than USD100 a barrel have turned into money pits, shrinking profits for producers, threatening investor returns and starving companies of the cash required to find, drill, assess and equip discoveries.

Desperate measures to cut costs, delay contracts and lay-off staff are now being taken by energy companies, which committed to billions of dollars in oil projects across the globe during the past five years.

With no sign of an oil-market rebound, ambitious and expensive ventures are increasingly unlikely and many agreed projects have been put on hold.

Not the sort of news that anyone involved in delivering project logistics services to the global oil and gas industry will enjoy reading.


In business

Broekman takes over Marico

Broekman Group took over the Marico Group, a holding and finance company with a number of shareholdings active in cargo handling, agency activities and shipbroking.

Coscol divests shares

International media reports suggest that Qianhai Kaiyuan Fund has agreed to subscribe to half of Cosco Shipping's USD402 million private placement.


Capacity developments

Höegh Osaka refloated

Höegh Autoliners has confirmed that the Höegh Osaka, which was beached on Bramble Bank in the Solent, has refloated itself. 

Jacking tower completes 6,250-tonne test

The MYQ5000 jacking tower system, designed by Dorman Long Technology, completed a 6,250-tonne load test in China.

Kenworth hits a million

At the end of last year, Kenworth Truck marked the delivery of the one millionth truck that it has produced since it started manufacturing some 91 years ago.

First ro-ro call for Khalifa

The first ro-ro ship to call at Khalifa Port ro-ro terminal heralded the transition of Abu Dhabi Ports' ro-ro cargo from Zayed port to Khalifa.

Pieter Schelte arrives in Rotterdam

The 382 m long and 124 m wide Pieter Schelte, designed and developed by Dutch-Swiss offshore company Allseas, has arrived in the port of Rotterdam.

At least four more for Coscol

Cosco Shipping signed a contract with the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard for the construction of four 28,000 dwt multipurpose heavy lift vessels, with an option for an additional two ships.


Shipment of the week

Gilley Crane Rigging and Lifting uses its new Terex Explorer 5800 crane to install two 45.3-tonne boilers at the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee.


On the move

Manitowoc shuffles managerial pack

Eric Etchart, who has served as president of Manitowoc Cranes for almost eight years, has been promoted to senior vice president of business development for The Manitowoc Company.

Tillotson in at Diversified

Diversified Port Holdings (DPH) has named Charles Tillotson as chief commercial officer.

Thome names ceo

Effective April 1, Olav Magnus Nortun will become the ceo of the Thome Group.

FREJA ups projects expertise

FREJA Transport & Logistics has strengthened its focus on project and heavy lift cargo with the appointment of Hongyi Niu as its global project manager.


Network and association developments

The WCA Projects network added three new members to its group: Final Mile Logistics of Atlanta in the USA; Sology in Tyumen, Russia; and India's PDP Shipping & Projects.

Pakistan's Star Shipping and China's Dalian Golden-Trans International Shipping joined the XLProjects (XLP) network, as well as Unimasters Logistics SCS in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.

The Project Cargo Network (PCN) welcomed a new member representing Bangladesh: Euromaxx Logistics.

The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) welcomed the following new members to its group: Bank of Texas; Crane Sales and Service; Huff Contractors; InfoChip LP; K&R Transport II; Operator Training & Inspection Services and Servicios Romano SRL. The association also welcomed back returning members Cambridge Systematics, Modulift UK, and Wells Fargo Equipment Finance.


All about Evie

Evie was busy this week, as she paid a visit to the world's largest containership - CSCL Globe - which made its maiden call at the UK's port of Felixstowe.

Despite her fear of heights, Evie braved the steep gangway and stairs to reach the captain's bridge and witness the sheer size of the huge vessel.

Evie was also amused by news of an unconventional tug in the port of Rotterdam - the HotTug - and hopes that she may be able to spend some time relaxing in the warm bath this year.