DESS Aquaculture Shipping (DESS Aqua), a part-owned company of Solstad Offshore within the aquaculture segment, is raising new equity to finance fleet growth.
Namely, in order to fund the remaining part of the existing newbuilding program and two new vessels DESS Aqua has decided to raise NOK 700 million (approximately $81.5 million) of equity.
The new equity will be raised through a private placement directed towards Hemen Holding and Marine Harvest, with 50% each.
Following such private placement, DESS Aqua will be owned by Solstad (approximately 20%), Marine Harvest (50%) and Hemen Holding Ltd (approximately 30%).
DESS Aqua has taken delivery of the Live Fish Carrier (LFC) “Aqua Tromøy” and directly started a 5-year charter contract with Marine Harvest for operations in Canada. “Aqua Tromøy” has a capacity of 3.000 m3 and is equipped with a Reverse Osmosis (“RO”) plant producing up to 6.000 m3 of fresh water per day.
Furthermore, DESS Aqua has entered into a 10-year charter contract with Tassal, Australia’s largest producer of Tasmanian grown Atlantic salmon, for an LFC for operations in Tasmania, Australia and a 5-year charter contract with Marine Harvest for an LFC for operations in Scotland.
Consequently, DESS Aqua has declared options for two LFCs to be built at Sefine, Turkey. The new vessels will have a capacity of 3.500 m3 and will be sister vessels of the four LFCs already under construction at Sefine. The LFC that will operate for Tassal will be equipped with a RO plant producing up to 4.500 m3 of fresh water per day. The two new vessels will be delivered from the yard in 4Q 2020 and 1Q 2021.
DESS Aqua currently has two vessels in operation working on long-term contracts. In total, seven LFCs are under construction in addition to three service vessels. When this newbuilding program is delivered, the fleet will consist of 12 aquaculture vessels. The next vessel to be delivered is a service vessel with scheduled delivery in 1Q 2019.