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January 30 & 31, 2002

January 9, 2002

V. Ships to manage Lasco fleet
V. Ships is taking over the technical management of 17 Lasco Shipping Co.vessels. The agreement expands on one made last summer for V. Ships to provide technical services to Portland, Oregon, based Lasco involving three panamax bulkers acquired by American Bulkers KS and bareboat chartered back to Lasco. The new agreement will cover 17 additional dry bulk carriers that are part of the Lasco fleet.

Technical management services will be provided by V. Ships' Glasgow and Limassol offices, with transfer of technical management of the vessels set to begin in early January and completed within four to six weeks. The technical management services to be provided include crew management, vessel maintenance and supplies, vessel accounting, risk, safety and quality assurance management.

In announcing the deal, Kenneth M. Novack, president of Lasco, stated: We are pleased to be extending and expanding on the business relationship with V. Ships, who have already been involved in supplying crew to our vessels. "This initiative." he said,"will allow Lasco to concentrate its efforts on the commercial and financial management aspects of the fleet, as we continue to grow the business."

Lasco, a family owned, privately held company, was established in 1963. It operates a modern fleet of some 24 vessels comprising handy-size, handy-max, panamax and conbulk carriers, deployed primarily in the transpacific trades. Lasco is associated with the Schnitzer Group of companies. Also headquartered in Portland, Schnitzer involved in scrap metal recycling and processing, steel manufacturing, real estate development and investment, marine terminal bulk operations, industrial gas production and distribution and ocean shipping.