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

News that Mexico is preparing to lift its ban on private sector energy investment could see many of the challenges that have resulted in the decline of the country's oil production addressed, according to the US Energy Administration.

In 2013 Mexico's Congress approved an energy reform aimed at ending the 75-year long Pemex monopoly and allowing for greater foreign investment.

The lifting of the ban, which is unlikely to come into place until legislation has been finalised in August 2014, will allow private companies to bid for profit-sharing contracts to explore and extract oil, as well as apply for permits for refining and transportation.

The Mexican government suggested that allowing such investment would mean that third parties are able to help Pemex explore deep-water and other hard-to-reach areas that it cannot currently exploit.

By opening up the country's oil and gas industry to competition, Mexico hopes that projects and oil production rates will rise, which could provide those involved in the heavy lift and project forwarding industry with an array of new job opportunities in Central America.

This week's Friday Flyer is sponsored by Crowley Solutions, an organisation offering turn-key solutions for clients with marine infrastructure, offshore construction and marine cargo and logistics projects. Crowley provides project management, marine engineering, heavy lift barge transportation, ocean towing, marine project logistics, DP2 tugs to 150 tonnes and barges to 400 ft x 130 ft.

In the corporate world

ASCO Group reached an agreement to become the majority shareholder in Bonnie Rock Transport.

SAL Heavy Lift signed a contract with Australia's BAM Clough joint venture for the shipping and deployment of LNG and LPG product loading platforms for the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project.

Whilst there remains some confusion over the NVOCC registration requirements that are required to comply with the Chinese Ministry of Transport regulations. However, the British International Freight Association says that based on legal advice received it is of the opinion that a freight forwarder based outside of China, which has negotiated rates with the local office of a carrier and makes a booking via that carrier does not need to register with the SSE if it uses a SSE-registered Chinese NVOCC to complete the housebill of lading, and so forth.

Capacity developments

Messina Line upgraded its West Mediterranean - West Africa ro-ro service via a vessel sharing agreement with Marguisa.

RMR Shipping chose London Thamesport to handle the UK call of its new northwest Europe - West Africa ro-ro service.

Safmarine MPV also enhanced its Europe - West Africa service with the launch of ENERGY - a shipping service dedicated to the oil and gas industry.

Modulift designed and developed the world's highest capacity single point lifting beam.

Speaking at AirBridgeCargo's tenth anniversary event, executive president Dennis Ilin said that ABC is set to play a greater role in Volga-Dnepr Group's portfolio of scheduled and charter air freight services.

Shipments of the week

Crane Rental Corporation helped install a 40-tonne proton accelerator used in proton therapy cancer treatment, at the First Coast Oncology facility in Jacksonville (pictured top right).

Spedition Thomas transported an emission control system, consisting of large reactor segments, from Germany and Luxembourg to Jorf Lasfar in Morocco via the German port of Stade.

Bati Shipping & Trading transported seven 75-tonne Best transformers (pictured second right) from Balikesir, Turkey to Saudi Arabia's Jeddah Port via the port of Derince.

World Logistics Consulting Inc. is currently in the process of transporting two transformers by rail (pictured bottom right), from the Port of Houston to the Haldimand County wind farm in Ontario.

Other notable projects reported by HLPFI this week can be seen on the archive news area of our website.

Got some shipment news of your own? Send it in to

Capital projects and contracts

Alstom has been awarded two contracts worth a total of over EUR9 million (USD12.26 million) for the modernisation of two hydropower plants in the Canton Glarus and the Canton Valais.

Nuclear energy provider Areva has signed a strategic partnership agreement with the state of Niger to extend the uranium mining contracts held by the companies SOMAÏR and COMINAK.

Aker Solutions has secured a framework agreement to provide engineering, modifications and maintenance services for BP-operated oil and gas fields offshore Norway.

For a fuller round up of capital projects and contracts announced this week please visit the HLPFI website or contact David Kershaw.

On the move

Fleet Line Shipping opened a new warehouse dedicated to project cargo in Jebel Ali Free Zone, while Aquamarine Trans LLC opened a representative office in Feodosiya, the Republic of Crimea. Switzerland's VIA MAT appointed Matthias Kaiser as project coordinator. Peters & May opened a second Asian base in Shanghai, which will be headed up by new team member Ai Xing.

Network news

Uzbekistan's Cargo Star Ltd joined the WCA Projects Network, while the Project Cargo Network (PCN) welcomed Globalink as a new member representing Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. The Port of Vancouver joined the Project Professionals Group (PPG) as a project support member for Vancouver and Washington, while Portlog International was appointed as the network's new project forwarding member for Mexico.

All about Evie

Evie was upset this morning when she tuned into BBC Radio 4 and found that the station had failed to broadcast its world famous Shipping Forecast for the first time in over 90 years.

She wonders if the lapse could be anything to do with UKIP's strong performance in recent European parliamentary elections.

After all, when one of UKIP's 'more intelligent' representatives blamed Britain's bad winter weather on a new law legalising civil partnerships, a fantastic spoof of the Shipping Forecast was posted on the Internet.

If you haven't listened to it you can check it out here:

Evie also wishes Specialized Rail Transport (SRT) a very happy tenth birthday this month, and congratulates Colby Communications Corp. on its 20th anniversary.