October 22 - Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA (WWASA) has achieved a favourable loan financing through a Japanese export agreement for its two ro-ro vessels currently under construction at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement for the two ro-ro vessels to be delivered in 2011 and 2012. We have secured a total of USD232 million for the two vessels at highly favourable interest rate terms and with a 12 year tenor," says Jan Eyvin Wang, president and CEO at WWASA.

The agreement is the first corporate deal achieved between a ship owner and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). JBIC will be joined by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and two Japanese commercial banks in providing the loan.

"We see this as a clear indication of our strong standing in the international financial community. This achievement opens up a new and very interesting capital source for us," says Wang.

"The ro-ro vessels are unique and key in differentiating WWASA from its competitors. The innovative design includes high ramp capacity, deck strength and height and makes the vessels tailor-made for transporting attractive high and heavy as well as bulk cargoes. The vessels can carry a variety of cargo, and will make us even better suited to meet our customers' needs," says Wang.

The vessels which are owned by Wilhelmsen Lines Shipowning Malta, owned 1000y WWASA, will be the largest ro-ro vessels in the world with a cargo capacity equivalent to 138,000 cu m.

The vessels will be deployed in Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, owned 500y WWASA.