March 11 - Steel cutting for the second of Fairstar's newbuild 50,000 dwt open-stern semi-submersible vessels, Finesse has taken place, marked by a ceremony at the ASIC facility in Nantong, China attended by representatives of Det Norsk Veritas, Guangzhou

ASIC is the primary sub-contractor for the steel ship blocks that will make up the hull and superstructure of Finesse. The ceremony was attended by representatives of Det Norsk VeritasGuangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) and Fairstar Heavy Transport.

Willem Out, chief operating officer of Fairstar commented: "The steel cutting ceremony of the Finesse is the first milestone in the construction of Fairstar's fourth open stern semi-submersible vessel. Finesse will join her sister shipForte in 2012. We are convinced that the demand for modern, open stern, semi-submersible heavy transport ships will increase in the next two to three years. Complex energy infrastructure projects both onshore and offshore will provide Fairstar with a significant opportunity to create value for our shareholders by winning tenders for multi voyage contracts. We are confident that Forte, Finesse, Fjord and Fjell will provide a solid stream of future earnings for our company."

Philip Adkins, Fairstar chief executive officer, added: "The fixed purchase price of USD102 million for both the Forte and the Finesse will facilitate an IRR of more than 15 percent per annum over the 25 year life of the ships. Our shareholders expect us to provide predictable economics. We have no intention of surprising our shareholders with a 20 percent increase in construction costs. We are well versed in the disciplines of ship building and project management after our experiences in Malta. GSI and Fairstar are united in our determination to deliver both the Forte and Finesse on time and within the original capital budget. Our next milestone will be the keel laying of Forte in April."