Keppel Nantong to build 5,000 t floating crane


asianherculesiiKeppel Nantong Shipyard Co. Ltd. in China has secured a contract worth Singapore $143 million (US $116 million) to build a heavy lift sheerleg crane vessel for Asian Lift Pte Ltd. Scheduled to be completed in third quarter 2013, the 5,000-tonne floating crane will be the largest and most versatile heavy lift sheerleg crane vessel of its kind in the world. To be named Asian Hercules III, the self-propelled vessel will have enough power to lift a weight equal to over 5,000 automobiles. The vessel will measure 106 m long and 52 m wide with a hook height of at least 172 m.

Keppel Nantong is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore's Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd.

Asian Lift is a 50/50 joint venture between  Keppel Offshore & Marine and Smit Singapore Pte Ltd. The venture started in 1985 with the pooling of sheerleg cranes between both companies and with the timely introduction of the 1,600 t Asian Hercules. Asian Lift owns and operates a fleet that has grown from three sheerlegs to five, excluding Asian Hercules III. This includes the 1,600 t Asian Hercules and the 3,200 t Asian Hercules II. Its fleet has a total combined capacity of up to 6,600 t for multiple crane lift operations.

Mr. Lee Tai Kwee, President of Keppel Nantong said, "Keppel and Asian Lift have a winning partnership that has been instrumental to the success of both companies. We are proud to continue this mutual growth with the construction of the world's largest sheerleg crane. Such cranes are essential equipment for the efficient operation of our shipbuilding and offshore construction work.

"Keppel Nantong has established a track record in specialized shipbuilding, some of which are harbour tugs and anchor handling supply vessels for Smit. The construction of Asian Hercules III adds another dimension to the versatility and capabilities of the yard, and we look forward to delivering it on time, within budget and in a safe manner."

On delivery, Asian Hercules III's first assignment will be in Singapore. It will serve the offshore oil and gas as well as marine markets in Southeast Asia.

"We believe that Asian Hercules III will play an important role in serving the industry where heavy lift activities are essential," said Mr. John Chua, General Manager of Asian Lift. "South East Asia is an important market, especially with the high volume of offshore and marine projects being contracted here. With the weight of modules and other components increasing, Asian Hercules III will be well placed to meet the needs of the market for greater lifting capacity."

Keppel Nantong is currently undertaking the construction of six 45-t bollard pull twin-screw Azimuth Stern Drive (ASD) tugboats for Keppel Smit Towage. They are being built to Keppel O&M's proprietary design, developed by its technology unit, Marine Technology Development.

September 13, 2011

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