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April 04, 2007

MOL to Launch 44 New Iron Ore Carriers

TOKYO - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President: Akimitsu Ashida) today announced a major expansion of the company's iron ore carrier fleet, with a proposal to launch 44 new vessels. The move is part of MOL's growth strategies in the new midterm management plan MOL ADVANCE, which began on April 1. MOL ADVANCE focuses on the allocation of management resources in growing fields of the ocean shipping industry.

Outline

Launching period: April 2007 to early 2012
No. of vessels by type:
300 (300,000 tons) 5
230 (230,000 tons) 6
200 (200,000 tons) 6
170 (170,000 tons) 15
110 (110,000 tons) 8
80 (80,000 tons) 4
Total 44

MOL expects production of crude steel will continue to grow, particularly in China, where major players in the industry are restructuring and integrating their operations. As a result, demand for the transport of raw materials for steel will also increase. As a leader in worldwide ore carrier operators, MOL is expanding its large-scale fleet with various types of vessels to meet diverse customer needs.

The company has already signed long-term contracts for half of the 44 vessels to be newly built. MOL continues to negotiate contracts, and its target is to have 60% of the all new carriers sail under long-term agreements.

MOL's iron ore carrier fleet, 118 including Cape size and Panamax vessels as of March 31, 2007, will increase in total about 150 vessels by March 2013, including about 120 Cape size carriers and about 30 Panamax ships.

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