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Boskalis to Build New Dredge

Royal Boskalis Westminster nv, Papendrecht, the Netherlands, has announced plans for major equipment investment in 2001.

In early January, the company placed an order for a 4900 cubic meter hopper dredge of the "Waterway" class. This ship, with its shallow draft and large loading capacity, was designed to perform on- and foreshore beach renourishment, dredging and maintenance work in shallow water. Like the "Waterway", which will begin working early this year, the new dredge will be deployed mainly for dredging projects with short and medium sailing distances from its home port.

Boskalis will also extend the hopper dredge "WD Fairway" by 54 meters, which will transform the 23,350 cubic meter jumbo trailer into a mega trailer of more than 33,000 cubic meters.

Another order was placed to pre-design two 14,000-cubic-meter hopper dredges, each with state-of-the-art technology.

All orders were placed with Merwede Shipyards in Hardinxveld-Glessendam, the Netherlands.

R. van Gelder, Boskalis CEO announced the plans for new equipment during his New Year speech, and said “the fleet plans provide for replacement of older tonnage by very efficient, state-of-the-art ships. Cost leadership will remain an important success factor in the coming years. Given the development of the market, our plans also include an element of expansion.”

"He emphasized that, apart from autonomous growth, Boskalis pursues further growth in its home markets through acquisitions and alliances.

Boskalis achieved an average growth of more than 10 percent per annum in the past decade, and we expect to continue this trend in the years to come, he said.

"In the coming years, there will be large requirements in and outside Europe for expansion and modernization of ports, waterways and coastal areas. Much equipment will be deployed for land reclamation and soil improvement. The international dredging market is looking good,” said van Gelder.

With respect to the year 2000, Boskalis announced an expected net profit growth of at least 15 percent compared to the second half of 1999.

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