June 25 - Dockwise expects to reduce its debt by a total of USD58 million to just below USD963 million by the end of Q2 2009.

According to a company statement, the reduction will be driven by the release of the remaining USD40.6 million held in the Mighty Servant 3 escrow account; the successful buy back of USD8.5 million of debt; the USD4 million proceeds from the sale of Dock Express 12; and, scheduled mandatory repayments of USD5 million. 

Shortly, following its 18-month refurbishment, Mighty Servant 3 will rejoin the Dockwise Transport fleet bringing Dockwise's total fleet to 20 semi-submersible vessels. Delivery of the vessel triggers the release of the remaining USD40.6 million currently held in escrow to cover the costs of reinstatement and vendor compensation. 

Settlement of the previously announced debt buy back is scheduled for 30 June 2009. As a result, the group's debt will reduce by some USD8.5 million. 

Dockwise agreed the sales of Dock Express 10 and 12 in 2008 as part of its strategy to optimise fleet composition. The group received payment of USD4 million in Q2 2009 after the delivery of Dock Express 12 to its new owner. Dock Express 10 was delivered in 2008 and payment received accordingly. 

In addition, approximately USD5 million of the group's free cash flow has been applied over the quarter for mandatory lender repayments. 

André Goedée, Chief Executive, Dockwise Ltd, said: "The return of close to USD60 million to our lenders is a significant step towards Dockwise's aim of securing the gearing targets we have set for year end 2009. Reduction of our debt position is a key priority and I am confident that this step, combined with the continued free cash flow generation, will enable us to achieve the Board's target of reducing the net debt to less than three times EBITDA."