Stelmar Shipping Ltd. announced that it has renewed the Rimar, a 1998 double hull product tanker, on a six-month time charter contract for $13,500 per day.
Peter R. Goodfellow
, Chief Executive Officer and President commented, "In 2002, we have signed or renewed profitable time contracts for all seven tankers that have come off contract. We have also been able to sign new profitable time charter contracts for another two tankers that had been operating in the spot market. As we move into the second half of 2002, we have only four Handymax tankers operating in the spot market with another four coming up for renewal. We are confident in our continuing ability to sign profitable, short-term time charters at rates that exceed the current spot rate. We remain committed to signing additional profitable time charters in order to increase our earnings visibility in this challenging market."
Stelmar has secured more than 81 percent of the net operating days of its fleet on profitable time charters for 2002 and 45 percent for 2003, equivalent to $134 million and $87 million respectively. For 2004, the Company has secured more than 25 percent of the net operating days of its fleet on profitable contracts, equivalent to $56 million.
Stelmar also announced that it has received delivery of the Aquamar, the second of the two Handymax tankers that were purchased from the proceeds of the Company's recent secondary offering. The Aquamar, a 1998 double hull product tanker, is a sister ship of the Maremar, which was delivered on July 11, 2002.
Goodfellow continued, "With the delivery of the Aquamar, Stelmar has completed its fleet expansion program for 2002. This program has enabled Stelmar to grow its fleet to 31 tankers and reduce the average age of its vessels to approximately seven years. With five additional ships to be delivered by the end of the first half of 2004, Stelmar is positioned to continue to benefit from the positive fundamentals for both the Handymax and Panamax sectors."