Digital Edition

Breakbulk February 2020

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 16 of 23

Februar y 2020 | The Journal of Commerce 17 Vessel Chartering Breakbulk & Project Cargo ENGINEERING, PROCUREMENT, AND construction (EPC) firms are more likely to work directly with heavy-lift (HL) carriers than they used to be, according to Anders Hyrup, president of SAL Heavy Lift. While there's a lot of industry talk about this trend away from the traditional EPC project forwarder-carrier relationship, "it's still very different from EPC to EPC. Sometimes the client (i.e., the project owner, such as an oil major) behind the EPC wants to know what's going on. There are as many scenarios as there are clients." Regardless, "cargo is king," Hyrup said. "Whatever our clients are most comfortable doing is fine with us." Hopefully, the EPC will execute as a project forwarder would have, he added. Offshore projects, Hyrup said, typically mean the carrier is working directly with the EPC, because "99 percent of the time" these call for complex engineering that requires an intense level of communication. "The client's engineering department has to talk with the carrier daily. More channels delay the communication process," he said, adding the project owners, such as oil and gas majors who hire EPCs to build their projects, are rarely involved here. Overall, "we are seeing more requirements for heavy engineer- ing," Hyrup said. "The question would have been, 'How cheap can you get?'" Now, clients are realizing how important engineering is. It's no longer just about price, he said, the pieces in question are not neces- sarily super-heavy, either. "It could just be project-critical cargo, some component that might be the heart of a refinery, for example," Hyrup said. "Normally, we get an award based on a price, but now we have to do all the engineering as we submit a price, which creates more upfront engineering work." Hamburg-based super-heavy lift carrier SAL operates a fleet of 19 HL ships with combined lift capacities from 550 mt to 2,000 mt, two deck vessels, and accesses semisubmers- ibles through a pool with RollDock, according to their current fleet list. SAL is owned by Bremen-based Harren & Partner Group, which also owns heavy transport engineering and logistics provider Combi-Lift. Energy boost SAL has three divisions to handle chartering: the Asia and Europe desks, which handle SAL's semi-liner ser- vice, and a project desk that handles anything out of the ordinary, such as super-heavy lifts or major contracts that do not fall under the semi- liner service, Hyrup said. "All of our offices have full contact with clients and coordinate with HSEQ [health, safety, environment, and quality], engineering, and contracting, mainly from our headquarters in Hamburg, but the local point of contact is our individual offices," he said. The Houston office covers the United States, Canada, and Mexico, handling commercial, engineering, legal, and operations. "We do full execution from our offices and have full authority for all aspects," Hyrup said. Responsibility for the cargo is based on where the client is located, rather than where the cargo originates or is headed, he said. "The client talks with the closest office." Vessel utilization at SAL has increased significantly this year thanks to two project types: wind, and oil and gas, primarily liquefied natural gas (LNG), Hyrup said. Renewables are taking up larger pro- portions of SAL's fleet capacity, with activity highest in northern Europe, Asia-Pacific, and increasingly, the US East Coast. This increase in volume is "a perfect storm for us," he said. "We are built for oil and gas, but we can do renewables as well." l email: twitter: @janet_nodar 'Cargo is king' EPCs challenge traditional project forwarder-carrier relationship By Janet Nodar "It's still very different from EPC to EPC. There are as many scenarios as there are clients." Complex engineering involved in offshore energy projects typically requires carriers like SAL Heavy Li to work directly with the project owner.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Digital Edition - Breakbulk February 2020