Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited
(TEN) recently acquired the 299,700 dwt double hull VLCC M/T Maersk Estelle, built in Denmark in 1994, from the AP Moller / Maersk Group. Initially, this vessel will participate in the current strong spot market while the Company considers opportunities for longer-term employment. TEN will assume ownership of the vessel during the later part of January 2004.
"We are very excited about this latest addition to our fleet of young and environmentally friendly tankers," stated Nikolas P. Tsakos, President and CEO of Tsakos Energy Navigation. "This is the first vessel that we have acquired outside our 23 vessel strong newbuilding program since 1997. However, the quality of the tonnage, coupled with the increased demand for vessels of this type, made this an extremely attractive transaction. We anticipate that the revenues generated by this vessel will have an immediate impact to our bottom line."
Mr. Tsakos continued, "This acquisition further magnifies TEN's stated strategy of identifying the future needs of its customers, and building and acquiring a diversified fleet to meet those needs. Specifically, in examining the VLCC segment of tankers, it is clear that the availability of newbuilding berths earlier than 2007 is very limited. We have taken one necessary step to ensure that we can serve our clients now and in the future."
The acquisition of M/T Maersk Estelle complements the company's existing VLCC segment of the fleet, which includes another double hull tanker, fixed on a long period charter. Mr. Tsakos concluded, "Consistent with TEN's overall strategy of a balanced chartering portfolio, future opportunities for medium or longer term employment will be considered."
Overall TEN has 21 vessels operating with medium or long-term employment contracts accounting for 69% of the operating days for 2004 or approximately $135 million in revenues, which should provide a sustainable flow of earnings and enhanced shareholder value. The company current employs 7 vessels in the spot market, including the new VLCC.