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Pacific Basin upgrades fleet

Pacific Basin upgrades fleet

Hong Kong: Pacific Basin Shipping has signed a $55m contract for two new handysize ships, to be delivered in the first half of 2008 and third quarter of 2009 respectively. The company has also agreed to sell and charter back its 12-year-old handysize vessel, Oak Harbour, for $24m in order to maintain the low average age of its owned fleet. Pacific Basin will retain commercial control of the vessel until the newbuilds are delivered, upon which time the vessel itself will be chartered back into fleet for three years.

Pacific Basin ceo Richard Hext said, "The additional newbuildings announced today will allow the Company to enhance its future earnings. These transactions are consistent with the Company's operating strategy to maintain a modern handysize fleet."    

Pacific Basin's fleet currently consists of 94 including 57 handysize, vessels, 6 handymax vessels and 14 newbuildings on order.

Goldman Sachs comments that the latest news underscores Pacific Basin's commitment to fleet expansion and that it expects more vessel acquisitions to be announced over the next few months.  [14/02/07]