Fairmount Heavy Transport Announces Fjord Sail Away Date

Fairmount Heavy Transport (FHT) has been informed by the Malta Shipyards of a final sail away date in October 2007 for its heavy transport vessel FJORD.

Philip Adkins, CEO of FHT, has issued the following statement: "Over the last nine months, this project has consistently been let down by almost all of our sub-contractors. They have failed to meet their own commitments to us to supply materials and qualified personnel. In many cases the materials were not identified in any critical path planning, but the consequential delays were severe. In due course, it may well be necessary to hold these parties to account.

“The series of creeping delays that have plagued this conversion over the last 18 months have undermined the confidence of our shareholders in this conversion project. The previous delivery deadlines we have announced to the market have not been achieved and it is entirely proper for our shareholders to be outraged. I imagine my own credibility with the market to be marginal at best. I accept my responsibilities as the CEO of this company and prepared to be held publicly accountable for our performance.

“Nevertheless, in spite of these enormous challenges, I believe that the FHT site team has saved this project. The ship is nearly complete. The performance of the vessel will exceed the market`s expectations and we are certain we will have many attractive cargoes awarded to us by a growing list of clients who value our company as a credible, competitive alternative to the other heavy transport players. It has been a long, hot and stressful summer in Malta. Our team is determined to succeed. We do not anticipate this further delay to have a material impact on the total conversion cost. We continue to enjoy a strong balance sheet and the support of our banker, HSH Nordbank.

We have been in close contact with Ensco with respect the Ensco 100 transport contract. It is our understanding that the current climate for rig operators in West Africa is difficult and dangerous. Ensco has informed us of their need to depart from Nigeria immediately. Given the urgency, we have proposed to Ensco an alternative wet tow solution, expediting their exit from Nigerian waters. This may have implications on our current contract with Ensco and we will inform the market as the situation becomes clear.”