Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Super Heavy Lift Vessel Delivered for Beluga Shipping

First of Sixteen for Extreme Cargo Specialists
Shipping News Feature

GERMANY – Beluga Shipping GmbH, the innovative heavy lift and project cargo specialists, announced this week that the maiden voyage of the first of their new super heavy lift vessels which will form the flagships of their fleet. Sixteen new vessels are on order and the “Beluga Houston” (pictured) is of the P-series ice class with a deadweight tonnage of 20,000 tonnes. Freight carried on the inaugural trip included payloads of up to 485 tonnes each. With the new acquisitions the company fleet of specialist vessels should reach around 75 by 2012.

Beluga hit the headlines last year with their well publicised trip through the North East passage above the Russian coast both reducing fuel costs and emissions and avoiding likely pirate haunts. The company believe they are in a sector of the freight industry which, unlike conventional and container shipping, is likely to develop over the next few years. The type of vessels they deploy, this new fleet have on board cranes capable of lifting between 800 and 1400 tonnes, the so called “Super Heavy Lift” sector in which deliveries and collections are often made from the most inhospitable places and where the infrastructure is simply incapable of providing suitable handling options.

Beluga began life in 1995 and founder and CEO Niels Stolberg has commented that the new ships are equipped for the hazards of the new Siberian route and able to operate in comparatively shallow water conditions compared with conventional carriers. He also emphasised the company’s ecological credentials and aspirations, the P class ships for example have advanced ballast filtration to ensure there is no intercontinental transfer of alien species when discharging water from the tanks.