October 6 - Intermarine has taken steps to enhance its fleet by ordering six Ecolift F900 heavy lift vessels.

The 13,000 dwt ships will feature two cranes with a combined lifting capacity of 900 tonnes.

"The vessels are an efficient upgrade to our existing bridge-forward F-Class ships. They have the advantage of better stability, larger holds, improved cranes and reduced consumption," said Frank Fischer, managing director of tonnage procurement at the heavy lift shipping line. "We partnered with CSSC Leasing to provide these vessels with long-term charters due to their financial stability and global reach."

Delivery of the vessels, which will be built at the Hudong and Wenching shipyards in China, will begin in the summer of 2017 and continue through until 2018.

The ships form a part of Intermarine's 'Fleet of the Future' strategy, and will increase the number of vessels in its fleet with a lifting capacity in excess of 800 tonnes from six to 12.

"The six Ecolift F900s complement the 15 Ecolift F500s already on order," said Al Stanley, Intermarine president and ceo. "Given the increased environmental regulations, we focused on developing a Fleet of the Future that meets the current and future standards, while providing a stable level of capacity for our clients - the Ecolift F900 meets those goals."

Intermarine ordered 15 Ecolift F500 vessels at the start of 2015, with the first deliveries scheduled for the second quarter of 2016.

HLPFI reported on March 11, 2015 that Intermarine added the 20,000 dwt Industrial Grand multipurpose vessel to its fleet, kicking-off the line's Fleet of the Future newbuilding programme.