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Downturn sees Hansa shift focus

September 30 - Hansa Heavy Lift is responding to difficult market conditions by focusing on specialised transport and installation projects, rather than bread-and-butter project shipments.

Joerg Roehl, chief commercial officer, said Hansa's transport and installation operations and value-added engineering services were becoming increasingly important, noting that the market was experiencing overcapacity and lack of demand.

He told HLPFI that Hansa is happy with its current fleet size, but may be interested in adding more ships with dynamic positioning capabilities and will look to reduce its F-class fleet.

Commenting on recent tie-ups within the heavy lift shipping industry, Roehl stated that "any consolidation is good for the market" and the sector needs "healthy competition".

He believes that consolidation and the withdrawal of vessels from the market are paramount in order for the sector to improve.

Hansa's strategy in these challenging times is to retain its current fleet and network of offices, noted Roehl, adding that the line will continue to strengthen its focus on offshore oil and gas, as well as offshore wind energy projects.

Roehl admitted that "the whole world is a tough place" at the moment, but the company sees growth opportunities particularly in Asia Pacific and the USA, as well as prospects for offshore wind in Europe, although he noted that the overall European market is tough.

Roehl also explained that although Hansa deals with a mixture of project forwarders and shippers, he expects logistics providers to play less of a role in the process going forwards.

When it comes to upcoming environmental changes in the market - such as implementation of the ballast water management (BWM) regulations - Roehl was not concerned, since the company's fleet is the "newest in the market" and all of its vessels already comply with the new demands.

"Could the market be better? Yes - but we are doing well," he concluded.

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