Your midweek round-up of news from the world of heavy lift and project forwarding.

This week has seen the German investment company Lloyd Fonds, an established fund arranger with an investment volume of over EUR5bn (USD5.6bn), announce plans to convert into a shipping company.

From the announcement made by the company, it would appear that the intention is to set-up a vehicle to offer shareholders that are currently involved in single-ship entities the opportunity to transfer their operations, including ships, to Lloyd Fonds in return for stock in the company and the opportunity to become limited partners.

Whilst the new business model is up for approval in April at an extraordinary general meeting of Lloyd Fonds, some in the industry are suggesting that the new model could provide a lifeline for shareholders in one-ship companies that have suffered from the collapse of the KG funding method.

Torsten Teichert, ceo of Lloyd Fonds says: "It is high time that investors in single-ship entities receive a viable perspective for their investment. I am convinced that genuine fleet finance under the roof of a company such as Lloyd Fonds offers a far better outlook for the ships than the current single-ship entities. This can benefit both the current limited partners in the ship ownership companies and Lloyd Fonds' current shareholders."

HLPFI would love to hear from any of the current limited partners in any of those ship ownership companies, or anyone else, about their thoughts on Lloyd Fonds proposal. Do get in touch.


In business

Bimco warns of renewed piracy threat

The Baltic and International Maritime Council (Bimco) is urging seafarers to exercise extreme caution when sailing in the Gulf of Guinea, following a spike in piracy activity in the region.

Pieter Schelte gets new name

Allseas Group confirmed that its platform installation and decommissioning vessel Pieter Schelte is being renamed Pioneering Spirit, following widespread negative reactions.

UASC expands in South America

United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) has appointed the Ultramar Group as its local liner shipping agency partner in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

Barloworld Transport launches cranes division

Manline - a part of the Barloworld Transport group - is enhancing its abnormal load transportation, project cargo, rigging and lifting services to clients in the mining sector. 

Able breathes 'sigh of relief' at ABP step down

Associated British Ports (ABP) has decided to finally abandon its attempts to challenge the development of the Able Marine Energy Park on the south bank of the Humber. 

Record year for Abu Dhabi Ports

Abu Dhabi Ports handled more cargo in 2014 than ever before, with a 37 percent year-on-year rise in general and bulk cargo.

Hamburg sees fall in project and heavy cargoes

Whilst the total throughput of cargo at the port of Hamburg was up 4.8 percent at 145.7 million tonnes in 2014, project and heavy cargoes fell by 5 percent to 610,000 tonnes.

SC&RA helps promote industry careers

The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) is helping organise a new event, Lift & Move USA, to promote careers in the US crane, rigging and specialised transportation industries.


Capacity developments

Katoen Natie opts for Liebherr quartet

Katoen Natie has invested in three new Liebherr mobile harbour cranes in the port of Antwerp, as well as reinforcing its operations in Radicatel, France with a new LHM 420 crane.

Heroic launch for WWL

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) has welcomed the first of its new generation of post-Panamax HERO (high-efficiency ro-ro) PCTC vessels, Thermopylae, into operation.

Offshore cargo handling guide launched

A cross industry workgroup has published the latest edition of the Best Practice for the Safe Packing and Handling of Cargo to and from Offshore Locations handbook.

New Terneuzen lock takes step forward

A treaty has been signed between the Netherlands and Flanders for the construction of a new lock, which aims to improve access to the ports of Ghent and Terneuzen.


On the move

GAC oils up (despite low prices)
GAC UK is sharpening its focus on the oil and gas industry with the promotion of two managers - Adrian Henry and Michael Henderson - to serve clients in the offshore sector.

CEA appoints Deurwaerder

Alain Deurwaerder has joined CEA Project Logistics as its new director of business development, based in Thailand.

Saudia Cargo adds Duggan

Saudi Airlines Cargo Company (Saudia Cargo) has appointed Mike Duggan as its director of charter sales.

Noronha joins Shipping Australia

Shipping Australia Limited (SAL) has appointed Captain Melwyn Noronha as general manager technical services and industry policy.


Notable shipment

The ENI Goliat FPSO (floating production, storage and offloading vessel) has been loaded onboard the semi-submersible heavy lift vessel Dockwise Vanguard.