Leading German heavy lift operator BBC Chartering from Leer secured the contract to transport radio telescope antennas for the currently largest cosmic project on earth, the ALMA observatory. This international partnership project under development aims at further studying the universe and is located in the Chilean Andes.

For this project 25 antennas have been ordered from the European AEM consortium, consisting of Thales Alenia Space S.A., European Industrial Engineering srl and MT Mechatronics GmbH.

This required maritime transportation form Aviles, Spain to Antofagasta, Chile. Another portion of 12 antennas needed to be shipped from Kobe, Japan to Mejilones, Chile.

BBC Chartering was entrusted with the maritime portion to deliver the above antennas. ‘The fleet concept played a decisive role in the selection for this shipping part. The availability of vessels with own lifting gear and the flexibility to load in Aviles, Spain on the regular European service to the West Coast of Latin America were major arguments pro BBC Chartering,’ confirms Ulrich Kleckers of alca transitarios S.A., the Spanish logistics firm responsible to arrange the transport of the steel structures for the European antennas, build by Asturfeito S.A. in Aviles.

‘The first antenna was shipped early 2009, and meanwhile 16 antennas have been delivered to Chile from Spain. Three more are about to be loaded onboard the BBC Colorado in mid-December. The remaining six European antennas are scheduled to leave production early next year,’ states Mr. Ralph Ruthner, MT-Mechatronics project manager on behalf of procuring ESO (European Southern Observatory).

Meanwhile BBC Chartering concluded the transport of twelve Japanese antennas from Kobe with the shipment of the last three to Mejilones, Chile this October. ‘We are excited to contribute to this amazing project,’ says Svend Andersen, managing director of BBC Chartering.

‘We can appreciate that we were the shipping partner of choice for this prestigious project. We like to thank our partners for trusting our abilities and the opportunity to deliver our part to this important scientific program.’