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ESL Shipping signs vessel financing agreements

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LNG Industry,

ESL Shipping has signed two vessel financing agreements with OP Corporate Bank Plc to finance its two LNG-fuelled Handysize dry bulk carrier newbuildings.

The total value of the agreements is €50 million, and the loan period is seven years. The repayment schedule includes a grace period of three years and a payback profile of 12 years. The new agreements extend the average maturity of Aspo Group's financing and, on their part, reduce the average financing rate.

In 2015, ESL Shipping launched a significant investment of approximately €60 million in the two new vessels, which the company claims will be the first LNG-fuelled Handysize dry bulk carriers in the world. The vessels will be completed in China during 2018.

The new vessels will operate in the northern Baltic Sea, improving the efficiency of the transportation chain and reducing the environmental load of operations.

ESL Shipping will receive up to €5.9 million from the EU, of which €2.1 million will be paid this year. The EU funding has been awarded from the Connecting Europe Facility for Transport instrument.

ESL Shipping expects its net sales to grow and its operating profit to increase to a level of 20 - 24% by 2020. In 2015, its operating profit rate was approximately 19%.

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