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February 2, 2004

Breakthrough order for Vietnam yards

Britain's Graig Group has placed five firm orders and secured ten options for its Diamond 53 handymax double-hulled bulker with Vietnamese state shipbuilder Vietnam Ship Industry Corporation (Vinashin).

The Vietnam News Agency values the contract at $322.5 million.
  
The orders are part of what Cardiff-nased Graig describes as a "ground-breaking strategic alliance which will see the Vietnamese yards expand the range and quality of their output, drawing on Graig's long standing experience with building high quality ships in China."

"This series of orders for our robust and practical double-hull bulker design gives us attractive delivery positions," says Hugh Williams, CEO of Graig. "At the same time, we can help the Vietnamese yards with the design, with procurement, with finance and with all important quality control. Our experience of working with yards in China to build series of ships means we can help the yards to develop, and give confidence to our partners that Vietnam can provide them with high quality tonnage. The Diamond 53 design offers owners and charterers major operational cost savings, while significantly enhancing safety and environmental protection. This series means that owners can have that at a competitive price."

Delivery date for the first Vinashin vessels is January 2006. The ships will be built at two state-backed shipyards, Halong, in Quang Ninh province, and Namtrieu Shipbuilding Industry Company in Haiphong. These will be the largest and most sophisticated vessels yet built in Vietnam.

"We have inspected the yards and are confident that with the right support they can not only build these ships to a good standard, but will grow to become another substantial shipbuilding centre," says Williams. "There has already been substantial investment in modern shipbuilding equipment and practices, with the full support of the Vietnamese government. Graig will be opening an office in Vietnam to serve this project and other projects currently under discussion. We see this as a logical extension of our activities in China where we have a long history of successfully working with series construction in Chinese shipyards."

The Diamond 53 ultra-handymax double hull bulk carrier design has been developed jointly by Graig and Denmark's' Carl Bro after detailed discussions with charterers. Graig and Carl Bro have a joint venture design company based in Shanghai. The vessels will be classed with DNV: - DnV +1A1 Bulk Carrier with full Nauticus package including a full 3-D model. Fourteen Diamond 53 vessels have already been ordered in China, and the first vessel is scheduled for delivery this year.

Diamond 53 is a geared, wide-hatched, 53,000 dwt handymax bulk carrier with double hull and a high specification intended to address the current concerns raised by IMO/IACS around bulk carrier safety. The vessel has 5 cargo holds, equipped with end-folding hydraulically operated hatch covers and four 36 tonne electro-hydraulic luffing cranes. Further details of the Diamond 53 design can be found on the www.graigcarlbro.com website.

The Graig Group is a global marine service provider with interests in newbuilding supervision, ship management, ship design, ship owning , shiprepair, IT support and ship finance. One of the first marine groups from outside China to realize the potential of the Chinese yards, it has been contracted to supervise approaching fifty newbuildings there on behalf of itself and major global shipowning groups.



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