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181  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: LNG vessel to be laid up in Norway as spot market turns ugly on: September 27, 2005, 10:47:16 am
Here are a few pictures of VLCCs laid up in Norway in the early 1980s:

These are from Holmestrand:

These are from Aalesund in north-western Norway:

On this page, there is one from Moss, Norway:

Best regards
182  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / LNG vessel to be laid up in Norway as spot market turns ugly on: September 26, 2005, 06:56:54 pm
Suez Energy International has decided to put the 87,000-cbm LNG carrier "Hoegh Galleon" (built 1974) into lay up.

The company has the ship on charter from Leif Hoegh & Co of Norway until 2018. The vessel will be laid up in Holmestrand, some 60 kilometers south of Oslo, where it will arrive in the middle of October. Holmestrand was used for the lay up of large oil tankers in the 1970s and 1980s.

By way of background, a number of large LNG projects are being developed. There is a great need for new vessels tailormade for the relevant projects and owners like Bergesen, Teekay and Höegh have chartered vessels out on 15-20 year charters at fairly good rates. However, some owners (most notably Fredriksen’s Golar and Exmar of Belgium) have ordered vessels without firm employment contracts, hoping the vessels would be hot property when delivered from the yards. Also, some charterers (like Suez Energy, below) have chartered ships in the hope of making money in the spot market or on reletting the vessels to other charterers. So far, the market has proved them wrong.

The market for LNG-vessels that are not tied to long term contracts with specific projects has been miserable throughout 2004 and 2005. At least 8-10 new LNG carriers (each costing abt. USD 170 million) have been waiting for cargo off Gibraltar or in the Arab Gulf for months.

In my view, today’s announcement by Suez Energy that they will put their chartered vessel “Höegh Galleon” in permanent lay-up in Holmestrand is a dramatic decision that brings back memories of the surplus tonnage of crude carriers and LNG ships in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

I will head for Holmestrand to take pictures when she gets here in mid-October (as will Tomas the moderator and other locals, I am sure). Let's hope she doesn't have to stay here too long...

Best regards
183  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: CP Ships on: August 24, 2005, 11:54:43 am
Dear Walter,

Thank you for your comments. I agree with you that oligopoly is a bad thing and obviously big players can more easily abuse their position than smaller ones.

I will only add one thing to what I wrote earlier, and that is that the competition authorities have two main tools in their toolbox.

One is to stop competitors from cooperating (there are certain exceptions that allow limited cooperation if it benefits the customers).

The other is to stop large market players from abusing their dominant position. Thus, they will not approve a merger if it will give the merged company a too big share in a market. A fresh example is that they only approved AP Møller's purchase of PONL if the group would pull out of certain consortia and trades where their combined operation would lead to a too large market share for the merged unit.

Best regards
184  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: CP Ships on: August 23, 2005, 09:34:46 am
Well, I suppose what happens is generally good for shipping and its customers because transport becomes more efficient and (presumably) cheaper. It is sad for Netherlands and Canada to be losing their major container lines, though.

Part of the background for what is happening is that the EU has proposed to change its regulations so that in effect, liner conferences will no longer be allowed. In case someone is not familiar with liner conferences, they are cooperation agreements where container lines cooperate on price and run services on routes together.

EU and national competition laws generally forbids competitors from cooperating on prices, but until now, parts of shipping have been exempted. This will soon change and that meanst shipping lines need to be bigger in order to run the various routes themselves.

The Chinese lines CSCL and COSCO are roumoured to be on the lookout for possible takeover candidates, but it is difficult to see which companies are available to take over. MSC is highly succesful and privately owned, and thus not likely to be a takeover candidate. The same goes for CMA CGM. The Chinese certainly are not likely to be selling their lines. Taiwan's Evergreen may be a candidate because it is not growing fast enough to keep up with the other lines, but this company also seems unlikely.

One thing is certain, though: We are heading for interesting times in liner shipping.

Best regards
185  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: CP Ships on: August 22, 2005, 08:06:35 am
Yes, the board of directors of CP Ships has decided to accept the offer from Hapag-Lloyd's parent, the German TUI group, for USD 2 Bn in cash. They have recommended to the shareholders that they should sell their shares, and most likely this is what will happen.

The merged group will become the 5th largest container line in the world, after:

1: Maersk line (incorporating PONL)
2: MSC
3: Evergreen

Read CP Ships' press release on

Find the latest statistics on the major container lines at (press "Liner Shipping Newsletter", then "read").

Best regards
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