Stelmar Shipping Ltd. announced that it has signed the Aquamar and the Maremar, two modern double hull Handymax vessels purchased from the proceeds of the company's recent offering, to profitable time charter contracts
. Both tankers currently trade in the spot market and are expected to be deployed on these time charters during the second half of August 2002.
The Aquamar, a 1998 double hull product tanker delivered on July 15, 2002, has been signed to a two-year time charter with Amerada Hess Shipping Corporation USA at a rate of $13,500 per day.
Stelmar also announced that it has signed the Maremar, a 1998 double hull product tanker and sister ship to Aquamar, to a six-month charter with ST Shipping at $13,500 per day. The Maremar was delivered to Stelmar on June 27, 2002.
Peter R. Goodfellow, chief executive officer and president said, "Our strategy of signing profitable contracts for our vessels is enabling us to enhance Stelmar's earnings visibility and achieve high utilization rates in a challenging environment. With these most recent contracts, Stelmar has signed profitable time charters for all nine vessels it has received delivery of in 2002."
Goodfellow continued, "Including these two new contracts, Stelmar has secured more than 84 percent of the net operating days of its fleet on profitable time charters for 2002 and 50 [ercemt for 2003, equivalent to $137 million and $93 million respectively. For 2004, the Company has secured more than 27 percent of the net operating days of its fleet on profitable contracts, equivalent to $58 million. We remain committed to signing additional profitable contracts to increase our earnings visibility in this challenging market."