Aspo Plc STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE February 11, 2011 at 8.45 a.m.
ESL Shipping Ltd, part of Aspo Group, has signed a new, long-term contract with Rautaruukki Corporation for the marine transport of raw materials on the Baltic Sea. The long-standing partnership and commitment enable both parties to develop their respective operations, and ESL Shipping will also have the opportunity to update its fleet and improve its efficiency. The fleet of pusher barges, particularly used for transporting the raw materials of the steel industry, will be docked and vessels will be modernized during the summer of 2011.
"Extending the long-standing co-operation will further reinforce the position of ESL Shipping as the leading carrier of dry bulk cargo in the Baltic Sea region. Our ongoing investment program for new dry bulk cargo vessels, and the long-term contract we have signed with Rautaruukki indicate significant commitment to mutual co-operation," says Markus Karjalainen, CEO of ESL Shipping.
ESL Shipping transports dry bulk cargo, mainly in the Baltic Sea region; approximately 11 million tons in 2009. The steel industry's share of transports was 53 percent, and the energy industry represented 43 percent. The shipping company's fleet consists of 15 vessels, of which it owns 12 in full. Two are leased and one is partially owned. The total dead weight tonnage of the vessels is approximately 200,000 tons. The shipping company will take delivery of a new vessel in the spring of 2011. The approximately 20,000 dwt vessel has been ordered from India. Two supramax vessels have been ordered from Korea, and they are scheduled to be in traffic in the first half of 2012.
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Aspo is a conglomerate that owns and develops business operations in Northern Europe and growth markets focusing on demanding B-to-B customers. Our strong company brands - ESL Shipping, Leipurin, Telko and Kaukomarkkinat - aim to be the market leaders in their sectors. They are responsible for their own operations, customer relationships and the development of these. Together they generate Aspo's goodwill. Aspo's Group structure and business operations are continually developed without any predefined schedules.