ALGOMA CENTRAL CORPORATION Announces Lake Freighter Construction Contract


TORONTO, Dec. 21 /CNW/ - Algoma Central Corporation announced today that it has entered into a contract with Nantong Mingde Heavy Industries, a shipyard located in the Yangtze Delta area of China, for the construction of four new maximum St. Lawrence Seaway-sized dry bulk lake freighters. The contract also provides for the purchase of two additional vessels at the Corporation's option.

This construction project, in which the Corporation expects to invest $205 million, provides for the construction of one gearless bulk freighter and three self-unloading bulk freighters. The first ship is expected to enter service in 2013 with the remaining ships to follow through mid-2014.

Upon their arrival, the vessels will be chartered to Seaway Marine Transport, which will deploy them in their dry bulk trade on the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Waterway. These new vessels will replace existing ones that are approaching the end of their economic lives. Seaway Marine Transport, a partnership with an unrelated company, is the largest operator of dry-bulk vessels on the Waterway.

About Algoma Central Corporation

Algoma Central Corporation owns Canada's largest domestic fleet of vessels operating on the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Waterway. This fleet consists of twelve self-unloading and seven gearless bulk carriers along with seven product tankers. The Corporation also has interests in ocean dry-bulk and product tanker vessels operating in international markets. The Corporation owns a diversified ship repair and fabricating facility active in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence regions of Canada. In addition, the Corporation owns and manages commercial real estate properties in Sault Ste. Marie, St. Catharines and Waterloo, Ontario.

SOURCE Algoma Central Corporation

For further information: For further information: Greg D. Wight, FCA, President and Chief Executive Officer, 905-687-7850; Peter D. Winkley, CA, Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer, 905-687-7897

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