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May 31, 2006

MOL Constructs New 43 Iron Ore Carriers
Meeting increasing demands of iron ore transpor

TOKYO-Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL, President: Akimitsu Ashida) today announced plans to construct 43 new iron ore carriers to meet anticipated long-term growth in demand for ore transport. MOL has invested aggressively in natural resources and energy transport as part of its strategy for growth under the MOL STEP mid-term management plan.

Outline of new vessels

Construction period: April 2006 until mid of 2010
Number of vessels by type: Type 300 (300,000 dwt)  5(vessels)
Type 230 (230,000 dwt)  3
Type 200 (200,000 dwt) 11
Type 170 (170,000 dwt) 10
Type 110 (110,000 dwt)  6
Type 80 (80,000 dwt)  8
Total 43 vessels
dwt:deadweight tons

Background

Production volume of crude steel has increased along with the growth of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) economies especially China. Demand for ore transport is expected to further expand as China increases its imports. MOL, as the world's leading operator of Cape-size ore carriers, offers a full range of vessels to meet diverse customer needs in this expanding trade.

The number of MOL-operated vessels involved in iron ore transport totals 114, including Cape-size and Panamax bulkers, as of March 31, 2006. The new expansion plan will bring the fleet to total 140 vessels (110 Cape-size and 30 Panamax) by the end of 2009. Adding ships on short-term (less than one year) contracts and spot charters, the fleet will reach about 150 vessels.

This means MOL will have 15% share of the world iron ore transport (about 1 billion tons).

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