December 15 - TBS International Ltd has taken delivery of Zia Belle, previously known as CEC Cardigan, a 1997-built, 8,734 dwt heavy lift multipurpose tweendecker with two 150 ton cranes, combinable up to 300 tons.

The company had agreed to acquire this vessel, charter free USD20.6 million in September 2008.

With this delivery, TBS' current fleet comprises 47 vessels with an aggregate of 1,399,207 dwt, onsisting of 24 tweendeckers and 23 handymax/ handysize bulk carriers. The company also has on order six roymar Class vessels, each of 34,000 dwt equipped with retractabletweendecks, two of which are scheduled for delivery in 2009 and the remaining four in 2010. These vessels are being built to TBS specifications, thereby contributing to the renewal of the TBS fleet.

Joseph E. Royce, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, stated: "We are pleased to have taken delivery of Zia Belle, which expands our fleet to 47 vessels and enables us to further improve our customer service capabilities. This vessel, our first tweendecker with heavy lift gear, is in demand for our project shipping business. It will enable us to accommodate the needs of our expanding client base engaged with projects in energy, mining, steel, construction and infrastructure development.

"In today's challenging environment, TBS continues to provide its extensive and long established customer base with complete transportation solutions, enabling them to optimize their global supply chain."