Desgagnés names and launches a New Tanker under a Canadian Flag



    MONTREAL, June 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Groupe Desgagnés celebrated today the
christening and naming of the Company's new tanker purchased in February
through its subsidiary Transport Desgagnés Inc. This vessel anchored in the
Port of Montreal on May 29th 2008, with its cargo consigned from Europe, where
it was operating for several months since its release in 2007 from the Gisan
Shipyard in Tuzla, Turkey. Mr. Louis-Marie Beaulieu, majority shareholder and
chairman of the board and CEO of Desgagnés, also announced its Canadian Flag
registration.
    With over 147 meters in length, a breadth of 22.4 meters and a draft of
9.49 meters, this double hull oil and chemical tanker has an 18,000 mt
deadweight. 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 BP) engine with a variable
pitch propeller, enabling her to achieve a working speed of 15 knots. She is
also equipped with a 750 kW (1,006 BHP) bow thruster. The vessel's 14 tanks
and two "slop tanks", of a combined capacity of 20,617 m3 at 98 %, allows her
to take onboard up to 14 different products with a loading capacity rate of up
to 3,600 m3/h for homogeneous products. Fitted with an inert gas system of
3,200 m3/h, she is equipped with 14 pumps of 380 m(3)/h of which six (6) can
be used simultaneously to obtain a discharge capacity rate of 2,280 m3/h.
    "Despite an initial outlay of $40 million excluding duty fees, and having
been built with state-of-the-art technology, the vessel has seen an additional
investment of three-quarter of a million dollars since her arrival for
refitting in order that she meet Canadian requirements and to adapt her
perfectly to St. Lawrence Seaway navigation" declared Mr. Beaulieu. "Our
priorities are security above all else and customer satisfaction", added
Mr. Beaulieu.
    The ship was christened with much pride the M/T SARAH DESGAGNES before a
number of dignitaries and partners. 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 Ms. 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!".
After a traditional blessing offered by Julien R. Beaulieu, collaborator
priest with the Military Diocese of Canada at the 19th wing of Comox in
Brithish Columbia, and also the brother of Mr. Louis-Marie Beaulieu,
Ms. Johane Desjardins, the vessel's godmother, proceeded to christen the
vessel.
    This christening was also marked with the symbolic Canadian Flag
registration. The Company underlined that the vessel was originally purchased
to operate mainly in Canada and more specifically as a solution to Ultramar's
increased production and its growing transportation requirements between Lévis
and Montréal, to which she would be mainly assigned until the construction of
a pipeline planned by Ultramar.
    "Since the purchase of the Sarah Desgagnés, the Canadian Market for
transportation of petroleum products has been marked by a significant decrease
in demand" specified Mr. Beaulieu. "Taking into consideration the situation in
Canada, the vessel will operate mainly abroad in the coming weeks, but we will
maintain the vessel under Canadian Flag with her Canadian crew until the
market situation becomes clearer ", he added.
    Desgagnés, through its subsidiary Petro-Nav inc., is one of the largest
marine carriers of chemical products in Canada and the only one based in the
province of Québec, having signed long-term contracts with Petro-Canada, Shell
and Ultramar, not to mention the Fédération des Coopératives du
Nouveau-Québec, Kildair, Air Canada et Sunoco, amongst others. Furthermore,
Petro-Nav will assume the marketing of the M/T Sarah Desgagnés, in Canada as
well as abroad. Mr. Beaulieu added that "with the present market conditions,
this will be a real challenge for the Petro-Nav team, who counts, of course,
on the full collaboration of its commercial partners to ensure the success of
the vessel's marketing."
    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, which can reach almost $50 million including
duty fees, immediately follows that of nearly $40 million made last July for
the purchase of the new cargo ship M/T Rosaire A .Desgagnés, and is part of
Desgagnés' fleet rejuvenation plan which will continue over the months and
years to come. Desgagnés will on the other hand take possession this coming
Fall of two new vessels similar to the M/T Rosaire A. Desgagnés in addition to
the undergoing building of a new vessel for the servicing of Anticosti Island
and the Lower North Shore, for global investments in the vicinity of
$250 million.
    With its head office in Québec City, 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 exceeding $170 million and over 850 employees in peak season, its
activities also extend to marine vessel repairs and maintenance, as well as
the rental and operation of heavy machinery. The Company owns and/or operates
a fleet of 16 motor vessels with an overall deadweight of almost 165,000 mt;
they cover the St. Lawrence River Network and the Great Lakes, the Canadian
Eastern Arctic, the East coasts of Canada and the United States, as well as
the seas worldwide.

    
    /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, Groupe Desgagnés Inc.,
(418) 692-1000, www.desgagnes.com

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