Xin Quang Hua

Ocean giants unite to forge mega fleet of semi-submersible vessels

China-based companies specializing in ocean-based heavy lift transport COSCO SHIPPING Specialized and Guangzhou Salvage have concluded a joint venture deal leading to the creation of a fleet of 18 semi-submersible vessels by the end of 2023.

Illustration/Xin Quang Hua; Image credit: COSCO Shipping

Commercial management of the fleet will be handled by the joint venture and COSCO SHIPPING Heavy Transport exclusively with offices located in Guangzhou, China, Houston, U.S.A., and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The current fleet of COSCO SHIPPING Specialized vessels will stand at 13 vessels once the latest 65,000mt dwt new building is delivered at the end of 2023. The additional five vessels will come from Guangzhou Salvage and include the 80,000mt dwt m/v Hua Rui Long delivered in 2022.  

The combined fleet will range in size from 20,000mt dwt to 98,000mt dwt and include two of the largest semi-submersible vessels in the world.  

“We are very excited to have a larger and wider range of modern semi-submersible vessels to offer our clients. Between the rapid growth of the offshore renewable energy market and the continued development of traditional oil and gas projects, it was important that we grow the fleet quickly in order to meet our clients’ needs. We are confident that this combined fleet will allow us to offer the right vessels for every project,” says Josh Wilson (VP – Commercial).

The move has resulted in the expiration of an exclusive commercial management deal between United Heavy Transport (UHT) and Guangzhou Salvage for the management of the latter’s semi-submersible fleet.

The partnership between Guangzhou Salvage, GSP, and United Heavy Transport (UHT) was in place since 2018.

“Our enduring partnership with Guangzhou Salvage, and GSP remains steadfast as we explore new avenues of collaboration, particularly by leveraging the diverse marine assets available within GS’s portfolio. Together, we are committed to maximizing the synergies between our organizations and utilize the full spectrum of GS’s marine offshore resources,” UHT said in a statement.

“In the meantime, UHT will continue to focus on providing our clients with project solutions for complex ocean transportation requirements. The recent geopolitical changes are creating additional logistical challenges for the timely delivery of cargo due to the scale and nature of the projects. The experience and knowledge of UHT is uniquely positioned to both reduce the number of interfaces for a client and mitigate risks for delivery delays.”