FastShip, Inc. Selects Philadelphia Gear Corporation as Supplier For High-Speed Trans-Atlantic Fleet / $35 Million Deal Is Philadelphia Gear's Largest and Means

FastShip, Inc. announced today that it has reached an agreement with Philadelphia Gear Corporation to supply sophisticated transmission equipment for the company's revolutionary high- speed trans-Atlantic fleet. The $35 million order is the largest in Philadelphia Gear's 100-year history, and will bring more than 100 direct and indirect jobs to the region. Under the agreement, King of Prussia, PA-based Philadelphia Gear will supply 20 gearboxes -- five in each of FastShip's initial four vessels -- plus one spare gearbox and additional parts, as well as a 10-year service and maintenance package. The gears will help generate power for the vessels equivalent to two and a half times that of a jumbo jet. "FastShip is thrilled to be working with Philadelphia Gear, a local company and an industry leader in transmission manufacturing," said Roland K. Bullard II, president of FastShip. "As a Philadelphia-based company, FastShip is proud to work with a company that exemplifies the region's historic manufacturing industry." The contract means 100 jobs for Philadelphia Gear and its vendors, including securing or adding 70 full-time jobs over the next two years at Philadelphia Gear's King of Prussia facility. These are among the 7,500 to 8,000 jobs that will be created by FastShip, according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. The venture will also benefit dockworkers, haulers of cargo via trucks and trains and those who work for local firms that will provision and repair the vessels. "Our contract with FastShip further establishes us as a global competitor in the supply of high-tech power transmission equipment," said Gerry Rooney, president of Philadelphia Gear Corporation. "Our aggressive investment in new technology and equipment, as well as our efficiency guarantee, positions us perfectly to thoroughly serve FastShip's cutting-edge transmission needs." Under the agreement, Philadelphia Gear will also participate in vendor financing of FastShip, which intends to complete its total financing package by the end of 1999. The gearboxes supplied by Philadelphia Gear will link the five Rolls-Royce marine Trent engines to the Kamewa water jets. The revolutionary system delivers a total of 250 megawatts, or 335,000 horsepower. This propulsion package will enable the 860- foot vessels, carrying a 10,000-ton payload, to make the passage from Philadelphia to Cherbourg in less than four days, and to sustain speeds of up to 40 knots. The hull form, coupled with the propulsion package, will enable the ship to maintain those speeds even under adverse weather conditions. Once in port, the ships will be loaded and unloaded in six hours using a rail-based roll-on roll-off system developed by TTS Technology in Norway. FastShip is creating a time-definite seven-day, door-to-door North Atlantic transportation network linking the middle of Europe to the middle of the United States. The service is made possible through use of patented technology that represents a quantum leap in hull design, propulsion systems and terminal technology. FastShip's high-speed vessels, proprietary loading and unloading system, dedicated terminal, and intermodal network will change the entire dynamic of freight movement between Europe and the U.S. Trial operations will start in the second half of 2002 with the initiation of commercial operations in early 2003. The FastShip vessels' huge productivity gains and the intermodal network will provide a substantial technological and competitive advantage for the U.S. Maritime industry. This technological advantage is created not only by the vessel's revolutionary hull design and propulsion system, but also by FastShip's state-of-the-art intermodal terminals, which will be unmatched by any port in the world. Financing for the business, which is due to be completed later this year, will include significant support from MARAD (U.S. Maritime Administration) Title XI Guarantee Program, financing from major equipment suppliers (including Rolls-Royce), local authorities in both Philadelphia and Cherbourg for terminals, and equity funding from financial markets. FastShip is drawing upon the expertise of shipping and industry leaders who serve as advisors to the company. The FastShip management team now includes a who's who of transportation and logistics expertise: Donald F. Cameron, former director of Corporate Logistics of International Trade Policies for the Bose Corporation; Christopher Rankin, former president and chief executive officer of P&O/Nedlloyd; sales and marketing consultant David Grant, formerly of P&O/Nedlloyd; John Thompson Newton, also a former P&O/Nedlloyd executive with expertise in a full range of transportation services including ships, containers and terminals; and Dick Steiner, who has held key management positions in domestic and international land, air and sea transportation, including CSX Corporation, Emery Air Freight, Conrail, and Flying Tiger Line. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, FastShip, Inc. will target high-value, time-sensitive goods including electronics, apparel and perishable items. The FastShip service will provide speed, reliability and frequency comparable to air freight at a cost closer to conventional ocean shipping rates. Customers will realize benefits that are strategically essential in improving their global competitiveness including reduced inventory investment, supply chain management efficiencies and lower logistics costs. Philadelphia Gear Corporation, based in King of Prussia, PA, is a subsidiary of American Manufacturing Corporation. With locations in Los Angeles, CA; Houston, TX; Newport, DE; and Chicago, IL, Philadelphia Gear Corporation has been a supplier of power transmission equipment for more than a century. ots Original Text Service: FastShip, Inc. Internet: Contact: Eric Hollreiser of The Tierney Group, 215-732-4100, for FastShip

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