(TSX : ALC)
ST. CATHARINES, ON, Jan. 15, 2016 /CNW/ - Algoma Central Corporation ("Algoma" – www.algonet.com) today announced that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with Nova Marine Holding SA of Luxembourg and its subsidiaries (together – "Nova") to create a specialized global fleet of cement carriers to support infrastructure projects world-wide. Algoma will own 50% of the joint venture, which is to be named NovaAlgoma Cement Carriers or NACC.
"We are very excited about the opportunity this investment with Nova presents," said Ken Soerensen, President and CEO of Algoma. "NACC is an excellent example of a global short-sea shipping business that shares many characteristics with our domestic dry-bulk business. In fact," Mr. Soerensen continued, "Algoma currently provides technical and operations management services for three cement carrying vessels on the Great Lakes on behalf of major cement producers."
The demand for modern efficient cement carriers continues to increase globally. This growth is fuelled by demands for infrastructure in developing regions, by infrastructure renewal in mature markets, by consolidation among major cement producers and by the need to renew an aging fleet. "We are very pleased to be able to work with our experienced partner, Nova, in this segment" Wayne Smith Senior VP, Commercial of Algoma said. "We see opportunities in both existing markets and globally for the renewal of cement carrier vessels."
Under the terms of the agreement, upon the satisfaction of certain conditions precedent, Algoma will acquire a 50% interest in the existing cement carrier fleet owned by Nova and comprising three pneumatic cement carriers now in operation and two additional vessels under construction. These five vessels are and will be deployed in various regional markets in Asia and Europe.
"The cement business is becoming more global and consolidated. We are excited by the prospects of this venture because it aims to create a dedicated group to serve the cement industry in its global logistic needs", said Vincenzo Romeo, CEO of Nova Marine Holding SA.
Algoma Central Corporation operates the largest Canadian flag fleet of dry and liquid bulk carriers on the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Waterway, including 18 self-unloading dry-bulk carriers, seven gearless dry bulk carriers and seven product tankers. Algoma also has interests in ocean dry-bulk vessels operating in international markets. Algoma provides ship management services for other ship owners and owns a diversified ship repair and steel fabricating facility active in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence regions of Canada. In addition, Algoma owns and manages commercial real estate properties in Sault Ste. Marie, St. Catharines and Waterloo, Ontario.
Nova's wholly owned subsidiary, Nova Marine Carriers SA, headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland, operates a varied fleet of modern bulk carriers, cement-pneumatic and belt self unloading vessels ranging from 5,000 dwt up to 57,000 dwt. With over fifty ships under control, Nova specializes in bulk traffic in the Mediterrenean, Atlantic and Persian Gulf and in Italian cabotage.
SOURCE Algoma Central Corporation
For further information: Ken Bloch Soerensen, President and CEO, 905-687-7885; Peter D. Winkley, CPA, CA, Vice President, Finance and CFO, 905-687-7897