March 4 - ZPMC-RED BOX Energy Services has bareboat chartered the two 50,000 dwt semi-submersible ships that were originally ordered by China's United Faith Group from the Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore shipyard in 2011.

HLPFI understands that ZPMC Shipping and CIMC Logistics, which are partners in ZPMC-RED BOX Energy Services own the ships, which are called Red Zed I and Red Zed II and that they will be deployed to serve a second contract which the heavy lift shipping company has won for the Yamal LNG development, with the delivery of the first module set for this summer.

Philip Adkins, chief executive of ZPMC-RED BOX Energy Services, told HLPFI: "Red Zed II passed its sea trials shortly before the Chinese New Year and Red Zed I will soon be undertaking its own sea trials. We are looking forward to getting them into service under the second contract that we have signed for Yamal LNG project."

The two ships are 217 m in length and are equipped with two hydro-electric cranes.

Adkins confirmed that work was on schedule on the two PC-3 module carriers that were ordered by ZPMC-RED BOX Energy Services from Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) in 2014. When these two ships enter service in January 2016 they will also be deployed to transport modules destined for the Yamal LNG project, which is designed and commissioned by a consortium consisting of Technip, JGC Corporation and Chiyoda Engineering.

ZPMC-RED BOX Energy Services was incorporated in Hong Kong in 2014 as a limited liability company and is a partnership of Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co (ZPMC), Zhenhua Logistics Group (ZHLG) and RED BOX Founders HK Limited (RBF HK Ltd).

The individuals involved in the latter are a group of marine heavy transport professionals who have worked previously at Fairstar Heavy Transport, Dockwise and Mammoet.

Adkins added: "By January 2016, we will have a fleet of four heavy lift ships, all contracted to the vast LNG project in Russia, and the company has a firm order book in excess of USD 400 million.

"But this is not the end of our plans and we are considering various options for how we might continue building up our fleet."

Adkins also confirmed that over 25 officers and engineers that were previously employed by Dockwise on the ex-Fairstar ships are now in the employment of ZPMC-RED BOX Energy Services. "I am personally delighted to be working once again with so many of the personnel who worked with me at Fairstar.

"Last year, I said that we had unfinished business in this sector; we still do."