Switzerland-based Allseas Group has agreed to rename its Pieter Schelte crane ship Pioneering Spirit following severe criticism from Jewish groups and trade unions for using the name of a convicted Nazi war criminal.
Trade Winds cited an email from Allseas as saying: "The new name of the vessel reflects what it stands for: a new technological step in platform installation and decommissioning.
"It also fits the 30-year tradition of Allseas to pioneer and surpass technological boundaries, as was done over the years introducing pipelay on dynamic positioning and laying pipelines in even deeper waters."
The vessel had been originally named after company owner Edward Heerema’s father, who served as a Waffen SS officer and was imprisoned after the Second World War.
The controversy emerged when Allseas used the vessel for works at three of Shell UK’s Brent platforms on the UK continental shelf.
UK maritime union RMT and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) had also demanded a change in the vessel’s name.
Following the public outcry, UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey also demanded that Shell UK rename the vessel, the Financial Times reported.
The 382-m long and 117m-wide vessel is currently under construction and expected to be delivered soon.
Image: Pieter Schelte crane ship to be renamed Pioneering Spirit. Photo: courtesy of FaceMePLS.