Swiss-based Allseas Group SA, the owner of Pieter Schelte crane vessel, does not intend to change the vessel’s name despite calls from various maritime unions.
The Panamanian flag of convenience vessel was named in honour of the Allseas Group’s owner’s father, who was a Nazi Waffen-SS officer, jailed for war crimes.
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and British maritime union RMT have voiced their protest against the vessel’s contract with Shell to service its Brent platforms situated on the UK continental shelf.
The unions called for banning of the vessel until its name has been changed.
“There is no intention to change the name of the vessel,” Allseas told World Maritime News when asked for a comment.
Allseas President Edward Heerema has disassociated himself from his father’s sympathies in the Second World War, saying that the wartime past of Pieter Schelte Heerema “remains difficult and painful for his family, and for many others.”
“The naming of the vessel reflects what the late Pieter Schelte Heerema has accomplished in the field of construction, which has been of great significance to the development of offshore oil and gas production until the present day,” Allseas President said in a comment.
“The building of the single-lift ship “Pieter Schelte” marks a technical breakthrough in installation and clean and safe removal of oil platforms world-wide. It is precisely Edward’s acknowledgement of his father’s creativity and entrepreneurship that led to the choice of the name of the ship, already in 1987. As the son, engineer and entrepreneur, Edward builds on the foundations that his father laid, and which made him the engineer he is today,” the comment reads.
After a career as a civil contractor in Venezuela since 1947, Pieter Schelte Heerema, moved to The Netherlands and entered the North Sea with a crane ship for oil platform installation.
As explained by Allseas President, by 1981 Pieter Schelte Heerema had built several technically innovative crane vessels and became known “as the pioneer of the offshore construction industry, making the installation of large platforms in the rough North Sea possible.
“He installed the majority of all large offshore platforms in that area. He was widely respected by the oil companies.”
Shell has not replied yet to emails sent by World Maritime News asking for comment.
The behemoth crane vessel arrived from South Korea to Rotterdam for final outfitting early January.
The vessel is expected to be ready for offshore operations early this year.
World Maritime News Staff; Image: Port of Rotterdam/Nadine Vos