March 1, 2007
TBS to build tweendeckers in China
Hamilton, Bermuda, headquartered TBS International Limited (NASDAQ: TBSI) says it has entered into agreements with China Communications Construction Company Ltd. and Nantong Yahua Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. to build a newly designed class of larger multi-purpose tweendeck vessel in China.
The agreement covers six 34,000 dwt vessels at a contract price of $35.42 per ship.
The vessels will have box-shaped holds, open hatches and fully-retractable hydraulic tweendecks. Each ship will be geared with 35 and 40 tonne cranes and will have a modern fuel-efficient engine that is expected to enable the vessel to operate effectively at 15 knots. The projected delivery dates will be two vessels in 2009 and four vessels in 2010.
The agreements are subject to receipt of satisfactory bank financing for both TBS and the seller. TBS says it is in discussion with the Royal Bank of Scotland with respect to financing and has received indications that the bank is prepared to support TBS in this program, subject to negotiation of satisfactory commitment letters and customary agreements.
TBS Chairman, CEO and President Joseph E. Royce,, stated: "This program to build a new larger class of multi-purpose tweendeck vessels is a significant milestone in the TBS business plan to modernize and expand our tweendecker fleet. These ships were designed by a TBS team drawn from all phases of our operations specifically to optimize our efficient cargo transportation in our trade lanes, support the requirements of our loyal customer base and enhance the growth of our business. We are particularly pleased that we are able to build these six ships in conjunction with CCCC and Nantong Yahua Shipyard."