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Heidi Beckenbauer names giant cargo ship "E.R. Bayern" in Korea

  09.08.2010    

The Hamburg-based shipping company E.R. Schiffahrt brought in a very special godmother for its tenth and final capesize bulk carrier: Heidi Beckenbauer christened the 180,000-tonne cargo ship on 9 August 2010 in Gunsan, South Korea, at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard, naming it "E.R. Bayern".
Her husband, Franz Beckenbauer, who was president of FC Bayern Munich football club from 1994 to 2009 and who is currently its honorary president, also took part in the honours and looked on with other guests as his wife successfully broke the bottle first time against the bow of the brand-new ship. 
‘In the world of international football, the name Beckenbauer is associated with top performance and successful teamwork like no other. But these are qualities which count not only in sports – they are also the foundation of the success of our company and many others like us,’ explained Hamburg shipowner and entrepreneur Erck Rickmers while advocating greater sportsmanship in German companies. ‘Just like the coach of any successful football team, business managers need to be able to recognise and promote individual talent. If you can coordinate the strengths of a group of individuals, then you have the foundations for a successful team,’ said Rickmers. Erck Rickmers supports the Franz Beckenbauer Foundation, which is based in Hamburg, as well as other organisations. The foundation was formed in 1982 and assists infirm and disabled people, as well as people who are in difficulty through no fault of their own.  
The Beckenbauers were impressed in particular by the size of the ship. ‘This cargo ship is gigantic. Building and delivering a giant like this on time requires a highly coordinated team of many experts,’ said Franz Beckenbauer at the ceremony. The 292-metre long, 45-metre wide ship will sail on behalf of the Japanese shipping company Sanko. It has a draught of 18.2 meters and can reach a speed of 15.3 knots. These big freighters can carry payloads of 180,000 tonnes each, usually ore or coal. 
The "E.R. Bayern" is the last in a series of ten ships which have been delivered to E.R. Schiffahrt over the past six months. All of them are fully financed and have been chartered long term to well-known shipping companies. On its maiden voyage, the "E.R. Bayern" will sail from Korea to Port Hedland in Australia.


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