September 11, 2008
StealthGas orders Suezmax crude tankers
Athens-headquartered StealthGas Inc. (NasdaqGS:GASS), which primarily serves the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector, has ordered two new 156,000 deadweight Suezmax crude oil tankers with an option for two more. Delivery of the first is expected in May-July 2011 and the second in July-September 2011. The optioned third and the fourth vessels would be delivered in the first and second quarters of 2012.
The company has also entered into an agreement to acquire from an unaffiliated entity its fourth new resale 50,500 deadweight M.R. type product carrier to be delivered in November 2009, when it will be named Stealth Argentina and go on a three year bareboat charter to a far eastern shipping entity.
The aggregate cost of the five vessels detailed above, assuming the option for the two additional Suezmax ships is exercised, is around $403 million.
"We have decided after lengthy study to strategically enter into the transportation of crude oil by ordering two, and optioning two, brand new 156,000 deadweight Suezmax Tankers," said CEO Harry Vafias. "We believe the outlook for these vessels at the time of their expected delivery as detailed above is very positive. I am pleased to say that despite the current difficult conditions within the banking sector that our bankers, both existing and new, have supported us willingly in regard to these new investments with well structured and competitively priced facilities."