ESL Shipping to Order New Vessels from India

Monday, January 16, 2006
ESL Shipping Oy, a subsidiary of Aspo Plc, has secured a contract to order two new ice-strengthened dry cargo vessels from the Indian ABG Shipyard Ltd. Expanding ESL Shipping's so-called Eira class, the vessels will be approximately 18,800 dwt bulk carriers equipped with on-deck cranes, and they will be designed to meet the highest Finnish ice class (1A Super). The total value of the investment will be around $60.5M. The vessels are destined for operation in the Baltic Sea and will be commissioned in 2008 and 2009. A similar vessel ordered from China at the end of 2003 is about to be commissioned in January 2006. The vessel investment will be financed with cash, loans and with the revenue from the sale of current fleet assets. Eerik Yrjölä, CEO of ESL Shipping Oy syas, "as far as its size and technology go, the ms Eira commissioned in 2001 has proven its excellence under very trying winter conditions. The newly ordered vessels will enlarge the "Eira" class fleet to four ships." ESL Shipping is a dry bulk cargo carrier mainly in the Baltic region. In 2005, the company shipped some 14 million tons of cargo. The energy sector accounted for approximately 33 percent and the steel industry for about 57 percet of the transportation volume.

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