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Neste Oil quits shipping

Fuel producer Neste Oil has announced that it is exiting the shipping business, selling off its fleet and outsourcing their management to Finnish firms.

The arrangement is expected to free up approximately EUR60m ($81m) of capital from Neste Oil's balance sheet and improve the group's result by approx. EUR10m ($14m) per year.

Vessels to be sold include tankers Mastera, Futura, Neste, Kiisla and Suula, and tugs Ukko, Ahti and Esko, to companies owned by Finland's National Emergency Supply Agency and the Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company. The vessels will then be leased back to Neste Oil under long-term contracts, and will continue to fly the Finnish flag.

Thereafter, Neste Oil plans to sell an additional three tankers at a later date - Tempera, Purha, and Jurmo – together with its 50% ownership of Stena Poseidon, Palva, and Stena Arctica.

"Neste Oil's shipping needs have changed in recent years," said Neste Oil ceo Matti Lievonen. "The proportion of the Group's cargoes carried by Neste Shipping ships flying the Finnish flag has steadily declined. Because of its high costs level, Neste Shipping has been unable to compete profitably on the international shipping market.

"I am glad that we have been able to find an arrangement that will keep the key vessels needed by Neste Oil in Finnish ownership and in use by us," continued Lievonen. "These vessels, together with vessels chartered from other shipowners, will meet our current shipping needs ... the arrangement will continue to ensure Finland's security of supply in the area of marine-based oil transportation."

Posted 19 September 2013

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