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September 07, 2009

MOL Group Develops Training Program for Massive New Ore Carriers
- Enhancing Safe Operation Training around the World -

TOKYO - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL, President: Akimitsu Ashida) today announced that the company and its wholly-owned marine consulting subsidiary M.O. Marine Consulting, Ltd., have jointly developed a simulator-based training program for seafarers who will operate very large ore carriers (VLOCs). The model for this training program is a 300,000-ton class (the world's largest) VLOC operated by MOL. In the future, the program will be incorporated into the operation simulator at MOL seafarer training centers around the world to further strengthen the safe operation of VLOCs and Cape-size bulkers.

On September 4, the companies invited 35 people representing 25 shipowners with close ties to MOL to visit M.O. Marine Consulting, where MOL Managing Executive Officer Soichi Hiratsuka explained the program. Guests also watched a demonstration of the program in the simulator room.

The companies developed the new training program to address safety concerns involving such large new vessels. When calling at ports for bunkering, loading, and discharging, VLOCs face difficulties due to narrow channels, strong tidal currents, congested vessel traffic, ships at anchorage, and so on.

MOL has implemented a wide variety of efforts to facilitate safe operation such as by allocating experienced Japanese captains at loading and discharging ports as Maritime Advisers and providing onboard support during the maiden voyages of VLOCs.

The company will continue its commitment to even safer operation by refining the operating skills of captains and seafarers through the development and implementation of this program.

MOL will adopt the new program in its seafarer training centers throughout the world to build up the skills of captains and other seafarers before they are assigned to VLOCs and Cape-size bulkers.

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