January 22 - Denmark based shipping company Nordana has signed contracts for the construction of four 12,000 dwt multi-purpose heavy lift vessels to be built at the Sanfu Shipyard, Yangzhou in China.

With a heavy lift capacity of up to 500 tonnes, the vessels will be built to a new design that is a further development of Nordana's existing Great Dane Mk I, of which 11 units were delivered from Sanfu to Nordana between 2009 and 2012.

Nordana said the new design has been developed through eight months of intense project development in cooperation with Sanfu Shipyard and Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute.

With two holds and hatches and a tweendeck offering adjustable height in both holds, the first vessel will be delivered in November 2014, with the other three following at three-monthly intervals.

A Nordana statement said the structural changes to the new vessels and an enhanced crane capacity will provide an eco-friendly new fleet of ships tailormade to cater for customer needs.