March 17 - Dockwise Shipping has been awarded nine near-term contracts to the value of approximately USD42 million.

The contracts involve the transportation of a jack-up drilling rig, dredging equipment, military and various other cargoes.

Dockwise Shipping, in company with industry partners, will transport the drilling rig Soraya to its new assignment in Thailand.

On behalf of various clients, the company has also been contracted to transport three dredging cargoes to Japan, Angola and Bahrain, various barges to Angola and Nigeria, cranes and gantries to the United Arabic Emirates, as well as winning a project move for the Canadian navy. All projects are for execution in the first half of 2009.

André Goedée, Chief Executive, Dockwise Ltd., said: "The market conditions Dockwise experienced in the final quarter of 2008 are continuing into 2009. The market for drilling rig transportation continues to show mobility of rig equipment , but also the market for port and marine Infrastructure remains active.

"This continued good start to the year will help Dockwise sustain the generation of free cash flows to reduce our net debt level - a priority for the current year."