Construction of and charter contracts for five new aquaculture vessels
Solstad Farstad ASA (“SOFF”) is pleased to announce five new long-term contracts and fleet growth within the aquaculture segment through its 50% owned company DESS Aquaculture Shipping AS (“DESS Aquaculture”).
DESS Aquaculture and Marine Harvest Norge AS (“Marine Harvest”) have entered into seven-year term charter contracts for additional two wellboats. The new vessels will have a capacity of 3.500 m3 and will be sister vessels of the two wellboats already under construction at the Turkish yard Sefine. Together with the client, SALT Ship Design and Cflow, the fish handling system have been in focus to set an improved standard for fish handling and welfare. With the new implemented standards, the vessels will be able to carry out all of the important operations required by the client, and thereby increase their utilization of the vessel. DESS Aquaculture has options for two additional wellboats under the contract with Sefine. The two new vessels will be delivered from the yard in 1Q and 2Q 2020, respectively, and will commence their long term contracts directly upon delivery.
Furthermore, DESS Aquaculture and Marine Harvest (Scotland) have also entered into ten-year term charter contracts for three service vessels. The vessels will be built at the Dutch yard Niestern Sander Scheepsbouw BV, will be delivered during first half of 2019 and will commence their long-term contracts with Marine Harvest directly upon delivery.
DESS Aquaculture specializes in ownership and operations of vessels used in the aquaculture industry. The company is owned 50% by a wholly owned subsidiary of Solstad Farstad ASA and 50% by Marine Harvest. Following the conclusion of the five new construction contracts the Company has 6 wellboats, 1 harvest vessel and 3 service vessels under construction, in total 10 vessels. All newbuildings are secured long term contracts when delivered from the yard.
The investments will be financed through external financing and equity. The SolstadFarstad 50% share of the equity in DESS Aquaculture is secured through an agreement for a subordinated loan with a company associated with Hemen Holding Ltd. This loan agreement has been increased with MNOK 150 up to MNOK 376. This is considered to be sufficient equity for taking delivery of the ten vessels under construction. The company has secured external financing for the three vessels to be delivered in 2018.
“We are very pleased with the development within the aquaculture segment and these latest additions to the construction program and order backlog. The organization now look forward to take delivery of the first aquaculture vessel during 2Q 2018.” says Jon Are Gummedal, EVP Aquaculture.
Skudeneshavn, April 10th, 2018
Lars Peder Solstad CEO, at +47 91 31 85 85
Anders Hall Jomaas CFO, at +47 40 04 29 18
Solstad Farstad ASA
This information is subject of the disclosure requirements according to the Norwegian Securities Trading Act section §5-12