SAL Heavy Lift Shipping boasts a fleet of 15 heavy lift vessels, providing customised and reliable sea transportation solutions for all types of project cargoes, including heavy machinery, equipment for the oil and gas industry, (offshore) wind energy, cranes and floating cargo. The German-based specialists have developed an enviable reputation, largely as a result of their impressive high-crane capacity of up to 2,000mtons, along with the fleet’s unrivalled speed of 20 knots – imperative for the safe delivery of time-sensitive cargo. PES spoke to Jan-Peter Esbensen (Director of Business Development) at the company’s Steinkirchen HQ, about the company and its operations.
PES: Welcome to PES magazine. Can you firstly explain a little about your business and how you serve the wind industry?
Jan-Peter Esbensen: Founded in 1980, SAL is located outside of Hamburg in Germany. SAL is the exclusive agent for a fleet of 15 modern heavy lift vessels. Apart from its headquarters in Steinkirchen the company is represented through various sales offices in Tokyo, Shanghai, Bejing, London, Genoa, Helsinki, Perth and Houston. With its latest newbuildings, SAL features the largest heavylift vessels currently in the market. Both vessels – the second one will be delivered in March 2011 – have 2 x 1000ts SWL cranes that are combinable to a lifting capacity of 2000ts SWL. Apart from their substantial crane capacity the vessels are equipped with a Dynamic Positioning System – as a great asset in Offshore-related jobs.
PES: We note that you’ve just completed a major project for Walney Offshore – can you tell us a little about the challenges you faced and how you overcame them?
JPE: Between March 2010 and June 2010 SAL’s MV Annette has performed 11 consecutive voyages from Rostock to Barrow-in-Furness for the Walney Offshore Wind Farm. In the course of the project, the vessel transported 51 monopiles with a weight of between 480mtons and 550mtons and dimensions of up to 55m x 6m. With a high speed of 20 knots, the vessel was able to perform the roundtrip between Germany and UK within 10 days and with that accommodated the time-sensitive schedule for SAL’s Danish client DONG energy. Amongst the challenges was the significant weight and dimensions of the cargo and the draft restriction in Barrow-in-Furness.
PES: Can you tell us a little about the company’s move into wind power projects – was it a strategic business decision, or a natural progression?