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May 21, 2009

Star Bulk brings ship management in house

Athens-headquartered Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (NasdaqGM:SBLK) today announced new time charter arrangements for four of its 12 ships--and said that it has taken technical management of four of its fleet in house.

Star Theta: a new one-year time charter agreement for the Star Theta, a 52,425 dwt 2003-built Supramax vessel, is at a gross daily rate of $11,300. On May 18, 2009 the vessel was delivered to its new charterer, Cargill.

Star Kappa a new time charter agreement with the existing charterer for the Star Kappa, a 52,055 dwt 2001-built Supramax vessel, is for a minimum of 63 months and a maximum of 65 months at a gross daily charterhire rate of $25,500. The new agreement is effective as of April 7, 2009 and replaces the existing charter. It includes a 40%-60% index-based profit sharing arrangement under which Star Bulk will be paid by the charterers, in addition to the above charterhire, 40% of the difference by which the Baltic Supramax Index (BSI) rate exceeds $30,500, effective as of April 7, 2011.

Star Epsilon: a new time charter agreement with the existing charterer for the Star Epsilon, a 52,402 dwt 2001-built Supramax vessel, is for a minimum of 63 months and a maximum of 65 months at a gross daily rate of $25,500. The new time charter agreement is effective as of April 12, 2009 and replaces the existing charter. The new time charter agreement includes a 40%-60% index-based profit sharing arrangement under which Star Bulk will be paid by the charterers, in addition to the above charterhire, 40% of the difference by which the Baltic Supramax Index (BSI) rate exceeds $30,500, effective as of April 12, 2011.

Star Sigma: the company has agreed in principle to extend the existing charter of the Star Sigma, a 184,400 dwt 1991-built Capesize vessel, by approximately 20 months, to a minimum of 56 months and a maximum of 61 months at a gross daily charterhire rate of $38,000. Once executed, the amended time charter agreement will be effective as of May 1, 2009. The amended charter agreement will include a 50%-50% index-based profit sharing arrangement under which Star Bulk will be paid by the charterers, in addition to the above charterhire, 50% of the difference by which the Baltic Capesize Index (BCI) rate exceeds $49,000 effective as of March 1, 2012.

In-House Vessel Management

On March 14, 2009 StarBulk SA, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company, assumed the technical management for the first vessel of Star Bulk's fleet. To date the technical management of four vessels, the Star Alpha, the Star Beta, the Star Ypsilon and the Star Kappa has been undertaken by StarBulk SA from Bernhardt Schulte Shipmanagement Ltd. The company's wholly owned subsidiary, Star Bulk Management Inc. performs the commercial management of all of the company's vessels.

Akis Tsirigakis, CEO of Star Bulk, commented:

"We are pleased to have secured further period employment for our fleet, enhancing our revenue visibility with total contracted revenue in excess of $425 million as of May 1, 2009. Significantly, we have introduced profit sharing structures in three of our new time charter agreements in order to benefit from future rate increases once these agreements come into effect. Our contracted operating days are now 100% for 2009, 71% for 2010 and 42% for 2011 and we continue to generate significant positive cash flows. We are confident that the commencement of in-house technical management will be instrumental in reducing management fees, optimizing our cost structure and in the implementation of our quality objectives regarding the operation of our fleet. We are also pleased to have completed successfully a protracted period of aligning the company's financial, commercial and operational matters with the new market environment enhancing our competitive elements and our capability to take advantage of market opportunities that are certain to appear."


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