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June 1, 2009

Bergen Group lands massive fishing vessel contract

Norway's Bergen Group has landed a whopping fishing vessel order from Russia. Subsidiary Bergen Group BMV has signed a NOK 2.7 billion ($435.3 million) contract to deliver two advanced pelagic trawlers and research vessels to Aqueda Shipping Limited and Mariora Shipping Limited. The vessels are to be delivered in 2011, and the contract is valued. The two companies have been set up by Vladivostok-based Rybsudprom together with investors. Rybsudprom has an option for two identical vessels, taking the potential contract value to NOK 5.4 billion (about $870 million).

"This is the largest contract ever for Bergen Group BMV, and long and tough negotiations with the Russians were required before we finally could sign the contract", says CEO Terje Sjumarken.

The vessels will be designed by Skipsteknisk in Ålesund, which has been worked on project for several years. The vessels have a length of 130 m (426 ft) and a width of 24m (78.75 ft), and will fish in the southern Pacific and Antarctica for pelagic species, mainly horse mackerel, as well as krill.

The Alaska Ocean, the largest catcher-processor fishing vessel in the U.S, has a length of 376 ft.

The vessels ordered from Bergen Group will have a freezing capacity of as much as 600 tons a day, which is nearly twice the capacity of any existing vessels. In addition, the vesseIs will be equipped with a fish meal factory for production of high-grade fish meal from krill catch and by-catch, as well as production of krill oil for the food and pharmaceutical industries. The vessels will have spacious and up to date laboratories, where 24 scientists will do ocean research while the vessels are on the fishing grounds.

"It was very important for us to secure these contracts, which are in line with our strategy to be the preferred supplier of large and advanced offshore, fishing and research vessels. The contracts secure full employment at Bergen Group BMV until the end of 2011, and if the options are exercised, until the middle of 2012," Mr. Sjumarken adds.

Bergen Group will arrange building of the vessel hulls abroad, and the outfitting will take place at Bergen Group BMV.


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