Torch to Complete Financing on Midnight Express Project Soon

Torch Offshore reports that all of the conditions of the contract for the conversion of the Midnight Express, entered into with Davie Maritime Inc. of Quebec, Canada, through its subsidiary, Torch Express L.L.C., to become unconditionally effective have been satisfied except for the closing of the Company's $60.0 million financing with Regions Bank and Export Development Canada (EDC) to fund the conversion of the Midnight Express and the issue by Investissement Quebec of the required performance bond, expected to occur soon.

The total value of the conversion contract with the Shipyard is approximately $37.0 million, which represents a major portion of the expected cost to convert the vessel to a DP-2 offshore pipelay and construction vessel with a total cost of approximately $90.0 million. The vessel is expected to be delivered to the Company's active fleet in the first quarter of 2004, after sea trials. The Company has incurred approximately $31.0 million of costs associated with the conversion through March 31, 2003.

Lyle G. Stockstill, Torch Offshore, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "The progress made to date shows the Company's commitment to our expansion into the deepwater and our confidence in Davie Maritime Inc. The Midnight Express has been drydocked at the Davie Maritime Inc. shipyard and we have continued to move forward with our third party suppliers of various aspects of the conversion, including the construction of our patent-pending pipelay system. In addition, we continue to work closely with Regions Bank and EDC to finalize the finance portion of the conversion."


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