Lifting solutions provider Palfinger has announced a long-term joint development agreement with Optilift, which offers products for digitised, remote-controlled, and autonomous cargo handling.

The two companies will co-develop and integrate Optilift technology into the control systems of offshore cranes, after Palfinger signed a deal with oil and gas firm Aker BP last year for the delivery of such cranes. The collaboration will continue until the product is market-ready, coinciding with the commencement of production at Aker BP installations in 2027.

In addition to the offshore crane market, the agreement also secures exclusivities for all Palfinger products in the marine industry, where it and Optilift see “a wealth of opportunities”.

Combining the technologies of both companies will create synergies to generate further market-leading solutions, says Palfinger. Furthermore, Optilift will have the opportunity to explore joint business cases with respect to Palfinger units on land-based applications, thereby significantly scaling their technology.

Palfinger’s contract with Aker BP includes delivering seven cranes to the latter’s platforms, five of which will be fully remote operated from an onshore control room in Stavanger, Norway. One of the main drivers for remote controlled and autonomous cranes is their ability to transport cargo from supply vessels to offshore platforms completely without any human intervention, even in rough weather conditions, with minimal need of maintenance. The first cranes are to be delivered in 2025 to Aker BP’s platforms. The offshore commissioning of the remote operation of the cranes will take place between 2026 and 2028.

“Through the cooperation with Palfinger and Optilift, we are changing the way equipment is transported to our offshore installations,” says Georg Vidnes, SVP Operations at Aker BP. “The ability to remotely control cranes from shore is a first step, followed by innovations to load and offload equipment without manual intervention – reducing the risk to personnel from equipment handling.

“Our ambition is that equipment can be brought onto an offshore installation by autonomously operated crane systems, such that equipment stands ready when personnel arrive at an unmanned or normally unmanned installation. This is an important part of our strategy, enabled through new technology, an innovative approach, and skilled people. We bring the future to the present day.”

The collaboration between Palfinger and Aker BP, where the parties have worked as fully integrated teams, will now be expanded to also include Optilift.

“When operational, the innovation will not only increase safety, reduce costs and CO2-emissions for Aker BP, but will also be made available to the entire global offshore marine and energy industry,” adds Torbjørn Engedal, CEO at Optilift.

“Aker BP is a frontrunner that pushes not only the industries, but also the suppliers to innovate. By joining forces with Palfinger and their innovative solutions and open way of working, we will together with Aker BP take the lifting industry to the next level.”

The official signing ceremony took place at the Palfinger headquarters in Salzburg, Austria.

“With our strategic pillar ‘Go Digital’, we are constantly working on smart solutions that make our customers’ daily operations more efficient and safer. By partnering with Aker BP and Optilift, both leaders in their respective industries, we are creating synergies that put us at the forefront of developing autonomous operation solutions,” said Andreas Klauser, CEO of Palfinger.


The UK division of Hendrik Veder Group has its sights set on a promising 2024, following a year of growth that saw the steel wire and fibre rope products and services provider achieve its highest earnings since 2019.

Across 2023, Hendrik Veder Group UK – which has offices based in Aberdeen and Sheffield – completed several largescale projects throughout the UK. As a result, the Aberdeen branch appointed five new positions (bringing its team to 34), expanded its office space, implemented a new operational IT system, and invested in a faster press for pipe slings to optimise production.

Discussing recent growth, UK managing director Bertwin Zonneveld commented: “2023 was a successful year. Through our sales efforts, excellent customer service, and sustainability-focused product line, we reached new highs not experienced since the market disruption caused by the pandemic. This is a positive sign of shifting market trends and opportunities for those in the supply chain, particularly within renewables. Sustainability is at the core of what we do as a group. Our entry into the  renewables market perfectly aligns with our established aims.

“For 2024, alongside the continued output of carbon-reducing alternatives, we intend to increase our service activities and double our existing service team. We are in the best position to deliver these aims through shareholder support that shows their belief in the group’s Aberdeen office. With this support, we will continue delivering innovative sustainable solutions for our customers, generating positive results across projects and contracts.”


Nexans, a global cable and optical fibre company, has placed an order with ship builder Ulstein Verft to build a new cable-laying vessel (CLV), with Red Rock contracted by Ulstein Verft to deliver a crane package. The vessel measures 31m in width and 149.9m in length and can accommodate a crew of 90. In addition to the upgraded crane package from Red Rock there will also be delivered two work baskets, at the stern, with common hydraulic power unit.

“Red Rock is proud and excited to be part of the new Nexans CLV,” said Red Rock’s sales manager Bjørn Mossestad.

The products will be delivered in 2025.

Red Rock has also successfully tested the third auxiliary crane for Jan De Nul’s next-generation offshore installation vessel Les Alizés.

The crane is custom-designed for this vessel with a short main jib and telescopic function on the knuckle jib. In parked position the footprint of the crane is minimal and there will be more available deck space onboard for mission equipment for offshore wind. The crane safe working load is 40t and the maximum reach is 30m. The crane is equipped with personnel lift, constant tension and active heave compensation. It isa also fully radiocontrolled with a Red Rock HMI tablet.

Les Alizés has been working for Ørsted’s Gode Wind 3 and Borkum Riffgrund 3 wind farms in Germany.

Jan De Nul offers solutions for offshore, marine, civil and environmental projects.


DNV, the independent assurance and risk management provider and an advisor to the maritime industry, has formally opened its new Training Hub for Industrial Knowledge (Think) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The dedicated training facility will offer a range of comprehensive programmes and a personal and customisable approach to development, offering in-person, virtual, and hybrid training sessions. DNV will also make use of virtual reality (VR) technology to safely replicate hands-on experiences in high-risk industries.

The hub will allow access to a variety of internationally accredited courses on safety, lifting, mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP), earth-moving machinery and scaffolding, among others.

Mohamed Houari, global managing director of DNV inspection, said: “I am very pleased with the official opening of DNV’s new Training Hub for Industrial Knowledge. The hub and its programmes were developed in collaboration with industry leaders to create a dedicated learning space that can benefit newcomers and established professionals alike.

“Think will become a repository of industry knowledge that will truly allow people to realise their full potential and accelerate their development. This will be done through a combination of traditional training methods as well as innovative methodologies such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence.”


Techano Oceanlift has been awarded a contract by Sefine Shipyard to deliver an offshore crane to a newbuild subsea inspection, maintenance, repair (IMR)/ survey vessel.

The company will supply a 150t crane capable of performing subsea construction work plus topside lifting operations. The knuckle boom crane is equipped with an active heave compensated (AHC) winch with 3,000m wire for subsea construction operations.

Techano Oceanlift is a specialist supplier of load-handling and lifting equipment for the renewable, aquaculture, offshore and marine industries. The company will conduct engineering and project management from its headquarter in Kristiansand, Norway. The crane will be delivered to Sefine Shipyard in Turkey in 2025.

Techano Oceanlift has developed a new series of offshore/subsea cranes to meet the increased demand for subsea operations and construction. The cranes may be electrified, including the winch – enabling it to deliver regenerated power back to the vessel.

The cranes also have an option of adding an additional tool, capable of 3D compensated topside lifts.

This is the second crane supply agreement that Sefine Shipyard awards Techano Oceanlift. The previous contract was worth €4m.


Huisman has announced that it has been awarded a contract from Subsea7 for the delivery of a 500t Offshore Mast Crane. The full electric crane will be installed on one of Subsea7’s pipelay vessels and will be deployed for deep water installations.

The crane will be equipped with a passive and active heave compensation system on the main hoist to counter-act the vessel’s heave motion when landing a product onto the seabed. Huisman has upgraded its heave compensation system with a variety of new control modes to extend the operational window.

The crane will be built in Huisman’s production facility in Schiedam, the Netherlands.

David Roodenburg, CEO of Huisman, says: “We are delighted to announce this contract of our valued client, Subsea7. Our pursuit of continuous improvement has led to the upgrade of our Offshore Mast Crane to an impressive 500mt, showcasing our dedication to innovation and client satisfaction.”

Huisman says the small rectangular footprint of this crane allows for easy integration with the vessel’s steel structure and direct installation of the crane on the stern, achieving a large effective outreach and reducing integration costs.

Huisman has also announced an update of its subsea Knuckle Boom Cranes for the offshore subsea construction market.

They come with the most recent version of Huisman’s Secondary Controlled Electrohydraulic power system as standard.

Huisman has also implemented the fifth generation of its HMC 05c motion and can offer Full Electric Active Heave Compensation (AHC). The firm’s patented Fiber Rope solution can be offered as an option on several models of the range to increase the lifting capacity at depth.

In today’s offshore crane market, there is a growing focus on lifts from one vessel to another. To address this need, Huisman has introduced a new feature: relative heave compensation. This innovation allows for compensation not only for the motion of the crane vessel but also for the motion of the other supply vessel. Motion detection for the supply vessel is achieved through a remote motion reference unit, which transmits the signal wirelessly to the Huisman offshore crane. This set-up has already been integrated into several offshore cranes and is also available as a retrofit upgrade for existing Huisman cranes.

Cees van Veluw, product director cranes at Huisman, says: “With the update of our Subsea Knuckle Boom Crane series, we respond to the market need for technical improvements on existing products. Vessel owners have more and more interest in aiming for zero emissions on their newbuild vessels.”

Finally, Huisman has been awarded a contract for the upgrade of the Offshore Mast Crane onboard the Aegir, owned by Heerema, which will enhance the second main hoist capacity from 2,000t to 3,200t at a height of 110m, making the upgrade suitable for the installation of large jacket foundations. The upgraded crane will feature a fixed jib section and a 3,200t lower block and hook.

Roodenburg says: “We are honoured to once again collaborate with Heerema on this milestone upgrade for the Aegir vessel. This project reaffirms our commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions to our clients, making their operations more efficient, and strengthening them in their current and future business.”


The winners of the Subsea Expo Awards 2024 have been announced.

UK firm J+S Subsea was one of the big winners picking up two accolades. The firm collected the Company of the Year Award – Under 50 Employees. A second award came in the Rising Star category where J+S Subsea’s environmental and sustainability adviser Kairvee Tyagi won the prize.

Organised by Global Underwater Hub, a trade and industry development body for the UK’s underwater sectors, the annual Subsea Expo Awards celebrate the achievements of companies and individuals working across the oil and gas, decommissioning, offshore energy, defence, aquaculture and marine science sectors. Around 500 guests attended the black-tie event in Aberdeen.

Subsea technologies and services provider JDR Cable Systems won the Global Exports Awards, while the Safety Innovation Award was won by TechnipFMC UK for two new health and safety initiatives introduced it in 2023 – Duty of Care and Safe Choice.

Collecting the Technology Development Award for its new i-COT ROV system were joint entrants Sonomatic and Geo Oceans.

The top business award of the night went to electrical monitoring and asset integrity solutions provider Viper Innovations, which lifted the Company of the Year Award – Over 50 Employees.

Neil Gordon, chief executive of Global Underwater Hub, said: “The Subsea Expo Awards recognise the innovators, collaborators, exporters, companies and individuals leading the way in the underwater industry. What the awards show year-on-year is the strength and diversity of the UK’s underwater supply chain as well as the talent and expertise working across it.”