GC Rieber Shipping Invests NOK600M in 4 Offshore New Buildings

GC Rieber Shipping is investing approximately NOK 600 million in four specialized vessels of MT design. The new builds, the first of which is due for delivery during the first half of 2009, will be individually assessed for further outfitting for offshore functions, including subsea operations. The vessels have the respective length of 75/80 meters and a width of 17 meters with diesel-electric machinery and a accomodation capacity of 40/70.

The total investment for the four new builds, due for delivery in 2009/2010, is estimated to be about NOK 1 200 million. The vessels will be owned by a joint venture company registered in Singapore, where GC Rieber Shipping will own 51%, equivalent to an investment of slightly over NOK 600 million.

Two of the vessels are scheduled to be chartered to the 52% owned subsidiary Technocean. Each will be equipped with an offshore crane and ROV-hanger. The growth in Technocean's operative fleet of subsea operations vessels from one to three ships substantially increases the company's capacity to take on complex subsea operations.

Currently the company operates "Polar Prince" in the North Sea. - The new vessels give us the opportunity to become a global player with competitive tonnage - states Technocean's CEO Bjarte Fageras. - We have highly competent personnel available to man the new vessels, which will be fully operative from delivery date-emphasizes Fagerås. The remaining two vessels are yet to be contracted and will be further outfitted for offshore functions.

In conjunction with the investment in the new builds, GC Rieber Shipping has resolved to establish an operational organization in Singapore. The Company regards the market potential in Asia as attractive for GC Rieber's area of business; and further notes the additional benefit that local operations will provide for the ease of recruiting regional marine crew.

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