Crude Carriers Corp. (NYSE: CRU) announced that on March 26 it took delivery of the M/T Alexander the Great, a very large crude carrier (VLCC) with carrying capacity of 297,958 mt, from Universal Shipbuilding Corporation at the Ariake Shipyard in Japan. The M/T Alexander the Great is the first of the three vessels comprising the company's initial fleet and was acquired at a purchase price of $96.5m. The remaining two vessels, the M/T Miltiadis M II, a 2006-built high specification Suezmax tanker and the M/T Achilleas, a sister newbuilding VLCC currently under construction at Universal Shipbuilding Corporation in Japan, are expected to be delivered within the next few days and at the end of June 2010, respectively.
Evangelos Marinakis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Crude Carriers, commented: "We are very excited to announce the timely delivery of our first newbuilding VLCC from Universal Shipbuilding Corporation, one of the most respected shipyards in the world. We were able to acquire the M/T Alexander the Great at the very attractive price of $96.5 million compared to the price of $190 million observed at the peak of the market for a similar vessel.
"Upon completion of our initial fleet of three vessels, Crude Carriers will have one of the youngest fleets in the industry, with a weighted average age of less than one year, a significant competitive advantage for our market.
"Crude Carriers is a new shipping company that enables investors to get exposure to the crude oil tanker market by acquiring vessels at what we believe to be the low point of the cycle. We intend to focus the employment of our vessels on the spot charter market, as we believe this can generate higher returns. We believe that our minimal debt strategy lowers our cash breakeven point further, providing us with financial flexibility for growth and dividends. We intend to distribute all net cash flow less operating reserves on a quarterly basis, starting at the conclusion of the second quarter of 2010. Our objective is to build Crude Carriers as a leader in the crude oil transportation market and generate sustainable returns for our shareholders."