Transporting oversized floating and non-floating cargos in excess of 40,000 tons such as offshore drilling rigs and modules, dredging equipment and floating wind-turbine foundations requires specialized vessels and a wealth of experience.
"There are forty-five vessels in this niche transportation segment and we operate five of these vessels - about eleven per cent of the global fleet", says Torgeir E. Ramstad, chief executive officer of Oslo headquartered OHT.
The company is a leading heavy-transport vessel operator with fully integrated in-house operations, engineering, technical and commercial management. Three of the five open deck semi-submersible heavy-lift carriers in OHT’s fleet were converted in Chinese shipyards.
"Our company has significant relations with China as both a supplier and as a customer", says Ramstad. "Our third and fourth vessels went through design, modification and conversion in Chinese shipyards. Our fifth vessel ‘Albatross’ was converted in China and delivered in 2015. These vessels are highly complex and are able to be submerged with ten meters of water above main deck to accommodate the heavy cargos we transport".
OHT has over twenty-five years of heavy transport experience. The company has transported jack-up rigs for most of the largest rig-owners in the world; including "Noble Lloyd Noble" working for Statoil (the largest jack-up rig in the world at 215m tall) and with China National Petroleum Corporation Offshore Engineering Company’s "CPOE-7" jack-up rig.
The company also has a cooperation agreement with China Communications Construction Co., Ltd. Through its office in Shanghai, OHT aims to grow its customer base in China.
"In line with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, an increasing number of Chinese companies are reaching out to international markets and taking part in large-scale infrastructure projects", says Ramstad. "Chinese-built heavy equipment will need to be transported and we can take advantage of this opportunity by leveraging our strengths and experience in this specialized transport segment".
Under the supervision of highly-skilled loadmasters and experienced crew, OHT provides safe, reliable and flexible loading and discharging operations in close coordination with personnel, customers, marine surveyors and local authorities.
"We consider to expand our fleet and are working once again with Chinese shipyards to build a specialized offshore vessel for us", says Ramstad. "China is a strategic market for us and we see enormous potential to grow our business and our partnerships there".