StealthGas Inc., a ship-owning company primarily serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry, announced today as part of its fleet expansion program the acquisition of two newbuilding LPG vessels.
The company exercised the acquisition options with a Korean yard and the additions to the fleet consist of two 22,000 cbm semi refrigerated eco LPG carriers scheduled to be delivered in the second and third quarter of 2017, respectively. The company expects that the acquisition of these larger semi refrigerated eco LPG carriers that can load LPG with high ethane content, will complement well its already leading position in pressurized vessels. Moreover in StealthGas' option vessels can be fitted with exhaust scrubbers and ice class notation making them even more versatile commercially.
With the addition of these two vessels in the expansion plan the company remains to acquire a total of 19 newbuilding LPG carriers. Total capital expenditure for all the acquisitions amounts to approximately $500 million. The acquisition of these vessels will be funded with a combination of debt financing and already available cash. With these additions total asset value of the fleet will amount to approximately $1.15 billion.
Michael Jolliffe, our Chairman, commented, "StealthGas is now the prominent owner of pressurized LPG ships worldwide, and with this expansion into handy-size vessels, and with a total of 19 of the most modern eco type LPG ships on order, StealthGas will continue its carefully thought out expansion program to the ongoing benefit of its shareholders."
The company also announced the conclusion of the following chartering arrangements:
- A one year time charter extension for its 5,000 cbm, 2006 built, LPG carrier, Gas Inspiration, to an international trading house until August 2015.
- A one year time charter for its 6,300 cbm, 2007 built, LPG carrier, Gas Flawless, to a national energy company until August 2015.
- A one year time charter for its newbuilding 5,000 cbm, 2014 built, LPG carrier, Eco Invictus, to be delivered September 2014, to an established owner-operator.
- A two year minimum time charter for its newbuilding 5,000 cbm, LPG carrier, Eco Dream, to be delivered in the 2nd quarter 2015 to an international gas company, with a charterer's option to extend the period.
- A two year minimum time charter for its newbuilding 5,000 cbm, LPG carrier, Eco Green, to be delivered in the 3rd quarter 2015 to an international gas company, with a charterer's option to extend the period.
- A two months time charter for its 3,400 cbm, 1992 built, LPG carrier, Gas Arctic, to an established owner-operator.