February 19 - Netherlands based heavy lift shipping specialist Dockwise has safely completed its first ever float-on operation earlier this week utilising its newbuild Dockwise Vanguard.

The vessel loaded the world's largest semi-submersible offshore platform hull - the Jack/St Malo - before setting out on her maiden voyage carrying the 56,000 tonne hull.

The Dockwise Vanguard successfully executed the float-on exercise of the platform hull at the Silli-Do deep hole near the Samsung Heavy Industries yard in Geoje, South Korea.

"The float-on operation was precisely and safely executed as planned. It took no more than four hours before the cargo stood firm on her cribbing," stated Ronald Goetheer, project manager at Dockwise.

After almost two days of sea fastening, the Dockwise Vanguard departed on a voyage that will see the vessel navigate at a maximum transit speed of 14 knots around Cape of Good Hope heading towards the Kiewit yard in Ingleside, Texas, USA where it is expected to arrive mid-April.

With a loading capacity of up to 110,000 tonnes, the Dockwise Vanguard is designed to serve the top end market focusing on next generation offshore, a company statement added.

It is engineered to surpass current heavy marine transport limitations and is specifically designed to exceed the expectations of the oil and gas industry, said Michel Seij, manager engineering at Dockwise. "From the drawing board, we decided to engineer a truly exceptional vessel," he concluded.