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"K" Line picks up heavy lift venture

Tokyo: "K" Line is moving aggressively into a new sector by tying up with a major German heavy lift firm. The new joint venture by German-based SAL Group (SAL), headed by Schiffahrtskontor Altes Land GmbH & Co KG and "K" Line Group will inaugurate its joint operations in April 2007.

In the establishment of this new joint venture, "K" Line founded "K" Line Heavy Lift (UK) Ltd. that will purchase 50% of SAL's shares from the Heinrich and Rolner families. The joint venture will maintain the trade name of SAL out of respect for its significant market recognition in the realm of heavy lift shipping.

Presently operating 15 heavy lifters, SAL also has a future fleet expansion program. In 2008, as the first phase, 4 newbuildings are to be delivered with service speed of 20 knots and equipped with cranes of 1,400 metric tons SWL as combined lifting capacity. The second phase will be achieved in 2009 and 2010 when another 2 newbuildings will be delivered with cranes having lifting capacity increased to 2,000 metric tons SWL on combination basis. Given the growing demand for offshore installation, the latter vessels will have the capacity to accommodate a Dynamic Positioning System (DP 2), enabling them to moor in close proximity to platforms and installation vessels.

The SAL main office will remain in Steinkirchen, about 30 miles from Hamburg, with "K" Line's officials to be assigned to that office, while SAL is planning to establish a branch office in "K" Line's Tokyo head office in order to assure closest possible cooperation in serving the Japanese market and in fully implementing all aspects of this new partnership.  [29/03/07]


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