Press Release


Press Release

March 23, 2007

MOL to Name World's Largest Iron Ore Carrier the Brasil Maru

TOKYO - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL, President: Akimitsu Ashida) today announced that the company has decided on the Brasil Maru as the name of the world's largest iron ore carrier, which will sail under a long-term transport contract with Nippon Steel Corporation.

The new ship will be the third generation of MOL vessels to carry the Brasil Maru name. The first-generation Brasil Maru, built in 1939, featured state-of-the-art marine technologies of the day as a cargo and passenger liner, and boasted a top speed of 21 knots. It served on the Japan-South America route as the fastest ship representing Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK Line, one of MOL's corporate predecessors).

The second-generation ship, built in 1954, was also an advanced cargo and passenger ship that symbolized Japan's economic growth. It served on the South America route via Panama and carried many Japanese emigrants to Brazil. After the retirement, it stayed at Toba port (Mie Prefecture in Japan) as Toba Brasil Maru for about 20 years. It has attracted thousands of visitors, especially cruise ship enthusiasts who enjoyed her elegant lines.

Like the first and second generations, the third-generation inherited its name with "Brasil" spelled in Portuguese, with wishes for further friendship between Japan and Brazil. The vessel will be launched in December 2007 and provide shuttle transport of Brazilian iron ore for Nippon Steel starting 2008, the centennial anniversary of Japanese emigration to Brazil. MOL will be the first Japanese shipping company to enter the very-large (over 300,000 MT DWT) iron ore carrier market with the third-generation Brasil Maru. Currently, five carriers including this vessel will be under construction.

MOL continues to push forward to expand its resource transport business to meet increasing needs for iron ore transport.

[Outline of new carrier]

Length overall : 340m
Breadth : 60m
Draft : 21m
Deadweight tonnage : 323,000MT
Shipbuilder : Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.

[Outline of contract]

Launch : December 2007 (plan)
Contract : Contract of Affreightment (C.O.A.)
Cargo : Iron ore in bulk
Loading port : Main iron ore loading ports in Brazil
Unloading port : Nippon Steel Corporation major mills (Oita, Kimitsu, etc.)
Annual transport volume : About 1.4 million tons a year

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