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December 1, 2003

Mitsui OSK Lines in massive bulker newbuild program

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) today announced plans to expand its fleet with 30 Cape-size bulkers (over 100,000 tons) to meet expanding and diversifying worldwide needs for iron ore transportation, especially for customers in China, Japan, and South Korea.
Summary of new fleet

Type 230 (230,000 deadweight tons) x 1

Type 200 (200,000 deadweight tons) x 15

Type 170 (170,000 deadweight tons) x 8

Type 150 (150,000 deadweight tons) x 1

Type 90-110 (90,000 - 110,000 deadweight tons) x 5

Total 30

A further 10 Type 170 Cape-size bulkers will be chartered under mid and long term contracts in addition to the above 30 new bulkers, from the second half of 2003.

MOL has already signed long-term transport contracts for 20 of the 30 new bulkers listed above (two will serve Baoshan Iron and Steel Co., Ltd. of China in an agreement announced on November 17

MOL says the production volume of raw steel has been expanding on a global scale. In particular, import volumes of iron ore have risen tremendously in China, and more growth is expected.

MOL says it is committed to providing a fleet of bulk carriers that can meet customer needs in Japan and overseas. With this move, the company is expanding and improving its fleet to accommodate an expected drastic increase in trade volume. MOL's annual transport capacity will expand from about 80 million tons to 100 million tons by expanding its fleet from the current 60 to more than 80 carriers.

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