The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has purchased the ice-breaker “HMS Protector” from GC Rieber Shipping.
The vessel has been on a bareboat charter to the buyer since the spring of 2011. The sale provides GC Rieber Shipping with an accounting gain of about NOK 370 million (around USD 61Mln), while the cash effect is NOK 485 million (around 80 million USD).
“HMS Protector” (ex “Polarbjørn”) was purpose-built in 2001 for long expeditions to the Antarctic and for subsea assignments offshore. The UK MoD, a long standing client of GC Rieber Shipping, has been using the ship as an icebreaker and patrol vessel for the Royal Navy in the South Atlantic and the Antarctic since 2011.
It has also provided support for UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and British Antarctic Survey. “HMS Protector” is the second vessel which MoD has chartered and later purchased from GC Rieber Shipping, the first one being “HMS Endurance”.
Irene Waage Basili, CEO of GC Rieber Shipping, comments: “We are very satisfied with the collaboration we have had with the MoD. They are highly professional and we have found them both challenging and rewarding to work with. We are known for having highly technical vessels and unique expertise for operations in icy waters and we see this transaction as an acknowledgement that a long-term customer is so satisfied that it wants to own our vessel. New investments in the ice segment are very interesting for us going forward.”
As part of the sale contract, GC Rieber Shipping will continue to support the vessel on a Contractor Logistic Support agreement for 1 year.
Press Release, September 27, 2013; Image: UK MoD