NewLead Holdings Announces Commercial Competency of MT Sofia
NewLead Holdings Ltd.announced today a review of the commercial competency of one of its bitumen tanker vessels, the MT Sofia since the vessel was delivered to NewLead's fleet.
The Sofia is a 2008-built bitumen tanker vessel of 2,888 dwt and is one of the five bitumen tanker vessels that were delivered to NewLead's fleet during the fourth quarter of 2014.
Since the end of November 2014, when NewLead took delivery of the Sofia, the vessel has been trading in the spot market under consecutive voyages. Previously, the Sofia has completed twelve different voyage charter agreements and fifteen different voyages and has transported approximately 29,175 metric tons of bitumen. Currently, the Sofia is performing its thirteenth voyage charter agreement while the Company has already agreed upon her following voyage charter, which is expected to commence at the end of July 2015, upon completion of its existing charter agreement.
For the past nine months, the Sofia has been trading mainly in the Central and East Mediterranean and the Black Sea areas with the vessel loading in Greece and Italy and discharging in Greece, Roumania, Lebanon, Cyprus, Egypt, Turkey and Libya.
Upon delivery of the Sofia to NewLead, the Company invested in the maintenance and improvement of the vessel's condition. NewLead improved the intake capacity of the vessel and the bunker consumption for steaming and heating that resulted from the installation of new equipment and the efforts of the crew on board the vessel. The improved condition and fuel efficiency of the vessel allowed for her vetting by principal oil major leading to enhanced attraction by reputable charterers.
Mr. Michael Zolotas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NewLead, stated, "Since NewLead took delivery of the five bitumen tanker vessels, the Company has managed to ensure a balance between spot voyages and time charter agreements to allow the Company to respond to and benefit from oil market reactions. Since the Sofia entered NewLead's fleet, the vessel has been constantly employed at competitive market rates while trading in demanding market regions that remain active."
Mr. Zolotas added, "NewLead will continue to capitalize on opportunities that arise in the bitumen market, where oil major refineries, oil trading and road construction activity allow for opportunities, but at the same time, NewLead is also looking to grow its bitumen fleet further."
NewLead has approximately 55.34% and 74.11% of its operating days covered for 2015 and 40% and 14.9% of its operating days covered for 2016 for its dry bulk and tanker vessels, respectively.