February 9 - Schiffahrtskontor Altes Land (SAL) has confirmed that the two new vessels currently under construction at the Sietas shipyard in Germany will each be equipped with a Dynamic Positioning I System (DP 1).

The dynamic positioning feature will allow customers to use these vessels as a combined solution for both transport and offshore installation including sub-sea operations.

Each ship will be suitable for offshore windmill installation activities, in particular for installation of piles, mounting of transition pieces and feedering of components from shore to offshore installation platforms. 

The two new so-called type 183 ships were commissioned in July last year and on completion will be the largest and most modern heavy lift ships in the world with two cranes offering a combined lifting capacity of 2,000 tonnes and a service speed of up to 20 knots. The vessels will be able to trade with an open hatch and accommodate exceptionally large loads.

The vessels will also be certified with an "environmental passport" in compliance with the highest environmental protection specifications. These technical and ecological preconditions ensure that the vessels will be ready for employment in future markets including wind energy, offshore oil and gas industries, industrial plants and other sectors.

Last July's EUR120 million (USD165 million) order came at a decisive time for the Sietas group. Together with sureties pledged by the Free and Hanseatic city of Hamburg and the German Federal Government, as well as the personnel measures agreed to by the IG Metall Küste union and the Sietas Works Council, the order is playing a major role in determining the future corporate orientation of the Sietas and its focus on industrial special-purpose shipbuilding.

Delivery of the new ships is scheduled for December 2010 and March 2011, respectively.