Diana Shipping Inc. (DSX-PB)
has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with an unaffiliated third party for the purchase of a Capesize dry bulk carrier
of approximately 175,000 dwt, currently under construction by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., for the price of $98 million.
The vessel, to be named Semirio, is expected to be delivered to the company by the sellers immediately upon completion of its construction on or about June 15, 2007.
The company also announced that it has entered into a time charter
contract with BHP Billiton Marketing AG for the Semirio for a four-year
period with one year extension at the charterer's option. For the initial period of about 47 to 49 months, the gross daily charter hire rate will be $51,000 during the first two years of the charter and $31,000 during the third and fourth years of the charter. The charterer has the option to employ the vessel for a further 11-13 month period at a daily charter rate of $48,500. The time charter contract is expected to commence shortly after the delivery of the vessel to the Company.
During the initial two years, this employment is expected to generate gross earnings of approximately $35.7 million and is expected to generate gross earnings of $21.7 million during the third and fourth years, amounting to a total of $57.4 million. If the charterer exercises its option for the fifth year, the charter is expected to generate aggregate gross earnings of approximately $74 million over the entire period.