May 10, 2010

ESL Shipping has ordered two ice classed dry bulk cargo vessels from the Korean Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co. Ltd, which is one of the world's leading shipbuilders. The new vessels are clearly bigger than ESL Shipping's existing vessels, 56.150 dwt supramax class vessels. The total value of the investment is about EUR 60 million. The vessels, which meet the ice class 1A, have been tailored for ESL Shipping and will be delivered in the first half of 2012. The vessel investment is financed with cash flow financing as well as debt financing.

"The Baltic Sea cargo markets will continue growing as the economic development in the area recovers. Simultaneously the need to transport raw materials around the year with ever growing vessels is increasing. We are increasing our capacity by over 50 percent, which means that we can improve and expand the service we offer our existing customers. At the same time, we can participate in new projects where transportation reliability around the year is crucial. The new self-unloading vessels with ice-strengthening are unique in their size class. In the planning, we have paid particular attention to environmental issues and therefore the vessels will include, for instance, ballast water treatment equipment. Ice model testing will be carried out at Aker Arctic's laboratory in Helsinki," says Markus Karjalainen.

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