Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc. (NYSE: OSG) and American Shipping Company ASA (Oslo Stock Exchange: AMSC) (OTCQX: ASCJF) today jointly announced that OSG has exercised options to extend its bareboat charter agreements with AMSC for four vessels currently under charter from AMSC.
Each bareboat charter agreement was extended for additional three-year terms, commencing from December 2020 and ending in December 2023. OSG previously exercised its options to extend charter agreements for all of the six other vessels that it leases from AMSC. As a result, all ten bareboat charter agreements with AMSC have now been extended for additional periods.
AMSC, in which Aker ASA is the largest shareholder with a 19% stake, was set up in 2005 in parallel with what was then Aker Philadelphia Shipyard (now Philly Shipyard). It owns a fleet of nine modern MR product tankers and one modern shuttle tanker, built at the Philadelphia shipyard and all operating in the U.S. Jones Act market and on long term bareboat charters with evergreen extension options with OSG.
OSG is a major operator of tankers and ATBs in the Jones Act industry. OSG’s 21 vessel fleet consists of two conventional ATBs, two lightering ATBs, three shuttle tankers, 10 conventional MR tankers, and two non-Jones Act MR tankers that participate in the U.S. Maritime Security Program, all of which are U.S. flagged, as well as two Marshall Island flagged non-Jones Act MR tankers trading in international markets. In addition, OSG has two barges under construction in the U.S. that will be Jones Act qualified vessels, with delivery in 2020. These vessels are anticipated to be paired with the Company’s existing tugs operating in the Jones Act trade.
OSG’s CEO Sam Norton said, “The contract extensions for the four vessels involved will allow us to continue our close working relationship with AMSC for many more years. The decision to further extend the maturities of each of the four vessels underscores our confidence that the continuing move towards balance in the Jones Act tanker market is an opportunity to serve our core customers in a rate environment that will provide attractive returns over time.”
The bareboat charter agreements provide that the three- and five-year options for these vessels are available indefinitely. The lease payments for the bareboat charters are fixed throughout the option periods, and the options are on a vessel-by-vessel basis and can be exercised individually.
AMSC’s CEO Pål Lothe Magnussen commented, “We are pleased to see OSG continuing to extend the bareboat charters for our vessels. AMSC benefits from the cash flow stability provided by these contracts and exposure to increasing profits in the future. We look forward to maintaining our cooperation with OSG.”