September 19 - Thorco Shipping and United Heavy Lift (UHL) have combined their respective fleets and expertise to create Thorco Projects.

UHL was set up in April 2015 by former SAL Heavy Lift executive, Lars Rolner. The company immediately joined forces with Arkon Shipping & Projects, with Arkon's heavy lift chartering department becoming fully integrated into UHL.

Following the tie-up with Thorco, Rolner confirmed that UHL has now ceased its alliance with Arkon but remains operating from the same office in Hamburg.

He said that the companies are on good terms and he would not rule out future cooperation with Arkon.

Despite establishing Thorco Projects, Rolner told HLPFI that the UHL brand would remain. The Hamburg based company operates a deck carrier and will be providing a number of other services, said the UHL chief.

Although he would not elaborate further, Rolner insinuated that UHL itself has signed an agreement with another owner.

Headed up by Christian and Thor Stadil, Thorco is owned by Danish conglomerate Thornico. In 2013, Thorco Shipping merged with Clipper Projects to create a fleet of around 90 multipurpose vessels.

Based in Hamburg, Thorco Projects will be headed up by Rolner and Thomas Mikkelsen, ceo and partner at Thorco, and will operate a fleet of close to 80 multipurpose ships.

Rolner commented that the way UHL and Thorco complement each other with regards to clients and markets "couldn't be any better".

"Thorco has many years of expertise and a large and diverse fleet. We have very strong engineering skills and possess a deep know-how within heavy lift," he added.

"Together our combined fleet and experience enable us to provide a full range of services, offering everything from general and project cargo to heavy lift, with vessels geared up to 800 tonnes and deck carriers which can load units up to 8,000 tonnes." 

Mikkelsen agreed that both parties complement each other well: "Geographically, we have different strong points which can benefit us mutually. All in all, our profiles fit each other very well and by joining forces, we believe we are creating a very solid and even better platform, meeting the needs and demands of all our clients."

Christian Stadil added: "We are two privately owned companies and the link from idea to execution is very short. Therefore, we are able to strike when a great opportunity like this presents itself." 


One of Thorco's new ships - Thorco Logic - being launched.


Lars Rolner (left) and Christian Stadil.