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The only time Allseas Billionaire Edward Heerema Retreated

John Donovan (above) forced name change of worlds biggest ship hired by Shell in 2013

Allseas Shipping Billionaire Edward Heerema, the unlikely victim of scam artists, has admitted in any interview that the only time he has retreated in a battle, is when he agreed to change the name of the worlds biggest ship, originally named after his father Pieter Schelte Heerema.

As regular visitors here are aware, this website and its owner John Donovan played a major role in the campaign against the original Nazi tainted name.

It is to the credit of Edward Heerema that he reluctantly made the change despite his wish to honour a father for whom he had great admiration for his considerable engineering achievements after WW2.

Extracts from an FT article: How billionaire shipping magnate Edward Heerema punished his €100m scammers

There was the ship itself – Pioneering Spirit, the largest in the world by volume, a €2.7 billion twin-hulled vessel the size of two super tankers joined at the stern. It is as long as the Empire State Building is high. There was also the fact that Heerema caused outrage by originally naming it after his father Pieter Schelte Heerema, a brilliant shipbuilding engineer who became a Waffen-SS officer in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands.

Shipping Billionaire Edward Heerema

Edward Heerema recalls of his father. “He was very determined. When he had a clear view of what he wanted, he put all his energy into it.” The son also went into battle without wavering; in all that time, he has retreated only once.

As I rode out to the ship in a tender boat two years ago, its vast bulk was visible against the skyline. The words Pioneering Spirit were painted in white on each hull, below its still-visible, over-painted original name: Pieter Schelte.

It was built for a unique purpose: carrying oil and gas rigs in one piece. As Sultana’s first trial ended, it lifted Royal Dutch Shell’s 24,200-tonne Delta rig in the Brent oilfield 186 kilometres north-east of Shetland with eight huge pairs of hydraulic arms fitted on the bows. With North Sea fields shrinking as reserves expire, the four Brent rigs are among more than 100 due to be removed. The ship has since lifted one other rig and laid 1100 kilometres of pipeline in the Black Sea.

Heerema recalls the moment he realised that, despite having resisted the protests for several years, he could not name his greatest ship after his father. It was February 2015, after it had sailed to Rotterdam from its yard in South Korea, and stories appeared about the name in newspapers, including the Financial Times. He had talked to Shell executives about the outcry all week and by the Friday the clamour overwhelmed him.

“They said to me, ‘Things are getting very difficult for us and we’re not putting you under pressure but we want you to realise how difficult this is.’ Those were their words, very polite. I called them back and I said, ‘I’ll change the name.’ It felt like a defeat because I’d been criticised [about it] through the years but I thought, ‘It’s my business, I do what I want; my father was a great man and that’s it.'”

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

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