Jones Act RoRo Vessel To Be Launched Spring 2002

Wednesday, June 7, 2000

The Pasha Group and Van Ommeren Shipping (USA) LLC today announced the signing of a $70-million contract to build a modern, Jones Act Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC). The new ship will be built at Halter Marine's Pascagoula, Mississippi shipyard, provide new competitive service to meet market demand between the West Coast and Hawaii, and generate maritime jobs in Mississippi, California and Hawaii.

The U.S. Maritime Administration also confirmed a Title XI financial guarantee to construct the new PCTC-type vessel, which will be deployed in the Hawaii/Mainland trade. "Based on our research," said George W. Pasha, IV, President and CEO of Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines LLC (PHTL), "there is widespread support in the Hawaii/Mainland Roll On-Roll Off (RoRo) shipping community for a Pure Car and Truck Carrier-type vessel in this trade. The vessel also will be enrolled in the military's Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA), and will be eligible to carry Department of Defense-sponsored vehicles and rolling stock," he added.

PHTL is a joint venture between The Pasha Group, a California-based automobile handling and logistics company, and Van Ommeren (USA), a Connecticut-based ship owner. The company will deploy this 13,000-DWT vessel to carry more than 4,000 automobiles, buses, trucks, and/or other large and oversize RoRo-type traffic. The new vessel's design will incorporate a total of 10 decks, with three hoistable and three strong decks, and a 100-ton stern ramp.

According to George W. Pasha, III, Chairman of The Pasha Group, "This vessel has a proven design and the flexibility to carry a wide range of RoRo cargo in enclosed, underdeck stowage. This PCTC design is the most widely accepted method in the world for the maritime transportation of motor vehicles. In my more than 40 years' experience in global automotive logistics, waterborne vehicle commerce generally follows RoRo transport methods when available in any maritime trade lane. This is due to the inherent efficiencies of this type of transport for motor vehicles. We are confident this service will fill a void –and meet growing demands-- in the Hawaii/Mainland trade," Pasha said.

Halter Marine is a division of Friede Goldman Halter, a world leader in the design and manufacture of vessels and equipment for the maritime and offshore energy industries. The PHTL vessel will utilize a proven European design already employed by two European operators that have built and delivered two sister ships, which are currently in operation.

Based in Corte Madera, California, The Pasha Group is a transportation and logistics company with more than 50 years' experience in vehicular transportation, offering expertise in point-to-point logistics, terminal operations, distribution management and information tracking systems. Connecticut-based Van Ommeren Shipping (USA) is a well-known ship owner, established in 1839, that currently operates four U.S. flag vessels in the U.S. preference trade, and three vessels in the international market. Pasha and Van Ommeren will combine their respective expertise in PHTL, with Pasha assuming responsibility for marketing, terminal operations and documentation, and Van Ommeren assuming responsibility for vessel operations.