December 22 - The multipurpose project shipping sector ends the year on a sad note with the news that ships agency Flamar and heavy lift and multipurpose shipping line OXL have filed for bankruptcy at the commercial court in Bruges.

The two companies are now in the hands of an administrator.

The bankruptcy filing comes 18 months after OXL satisfied Belgian administrators and creditors that it was credible ongoing concern, having restructured the operational and strategic sides of its business.

At the time the shipping line said it was optimistic for the company's future, pointing to the USA as a key market to drive growth and highlighting the prospects from the country's booming shale gas industry, but that was before the oil price nose-dived.

And so the curtain falls on a story that began in 1980 with the creation of Flamar, which was extended in 2006 with OXL, which was initially a joint venture with Oldendorff, but became a full sister of Flamar in 2010 after the German group's shareholding was acquired by the Daenens family.

Thomas Daenens ex-chartering director at OXL says that Flamar and OXL is not the first to file for bankruptcy since the down turn in the multipurpose sector, "nor will we be the last".