After a new purchase of $40 million last July, a new acquisition of nearly $50 million for Desgagnés



    QUEBEC, Feb. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - It is with great pleasure that Groupe
Desgagnés announced today the acquisition, by its subsidiary Transport
Desgagnés Inc., of a new vessel from the shipowners and builders Besiktas
Shipping Group. She is a double-hull oil and chemical tanker of
18,000 mt deadweight. With over 147 meters in length and a breadth of
22.4 meters, she has a draft of 9.49 meters. Launched just a few months ago
from the Gisan Shipyard in Tuzla, Turkey, where she was built under the
auspices of Bureau Veritas, she is rated Ice Class 1A and is fitted with a
MAK-7M43, 7,000 kW (9,385 BHP) engine, enabling her to achieve a working speed
of 15 knots. She is also equipped with a 740 kW (1,006 BHP) bow thruster.
    The vessel's 14 tanks and two slop tanks, of a combined capacity of
20,617 mt at 98%, allows her to take onboard up to 14 different products with
a loading capacity rate reaching 3,600 m3/h for a homogeneous product. Fitted
with an inert gas system of 3,200 m3/h, she is equipped with 14 pumps of
380 m3/h, amongst which six (6) can be used simultaneously to reach an
unloading capacity rate of 2,280 m3/h.
    "The ship will be delivered to us in Europe at the end of April 2008,
where she will trade in international waters. She will be returning to Quebec
City by the end of May, where she will undergo some refitting; she will then
be renamed and receive her Canadian Flag registration, to then resume service
by mid-June" declared Mr. Louis-Marie Beaulieu, the majority shareholder of
Desgagnés.
    This ship will be named the M/T SARAH DESGAGNES. In addition to
signifying "princess" in Hebrew and being the given name of Sarah Desjardins,
niece and godchild of Louis-Marie Beaulieu and his spouse Johane Desjardins,
Sarah was, according to the Book of Genesis, the barren wife of Abraham;
however, at an advanced age, she bore their son Isaac who then allowed them to
have "descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky". Mr. Beaulieu declared
that he hoped that "Desgagnés' future is as promising as Abraham's
posterity!".
    It is worth emphasizing that Desgagnés, through its subsidiary Petro-Nav
inc., is the only oil and chemical products marine carrier based in the
province of Quebec and, with its long-term contracts with Petro-Canada, Shell
and Ultramar, is one of the largest in Canada. It is in fact Petro-Nav that
will be ensuring the commercialization of the M/T Sarah Desgagnés. She will be
trading mainly in the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Canadian
Arctic and the East coasts of Canada and the United States. Mr. Beaulieu also
wanted to highlight the fact that "this tanker was more specifically purchased
as a solution to Ultramar's production increase and to its transportation
requirements between Lévis and Montreal, to which it will mainly be assigned
until the construction of the pipeline planned by Ultramar".
    Mr. Beaulieu also declared that he was "very proud of the 27 direct new
jobs created by this addition to our fleet, on top of the indirect jobs and
economic spin-offs that will also be generated by this acquisition". He
mentioned that this investment of almost $50 million follows that of nearly
$40 million made last July for the purchase of the new cargo ship M/V Rosaire
A. Desgagnés, and is part of Desgagnés' fleet rejuvenation plan which began
several years ago and will continue over the months and years to come.

    With its head office in Quebec, Desgagnés is a conglomerate that has,
since the 19th Century, specialized in marine carriage and transportation of
liquid and solid bulk, general cargo and also passengers. With gross receipts
approximating $160 million and over 800 employees in peak season, its
activities also extend to marine vessel repairs and maintenance, as much as to
rental and operation of heavy machinery. The Enterprise owns and operates a
fleet of 16 motor vessels, with an overall deadweight of almost 165,000 mt;
they cover the St. Lawrence River Network & the Great Lakes, the Canadian
Eastern Arctic, the East coasts of Canada and the United States, as well as
the seas worldwide.

    Enclosures: picture


    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/




For further information:

For further information: Ms. Suzanne Laflèche, Assistant to the
president, (418) 692-1000, www.desgagnes.com

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Groupe Desgagnés Inc.

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