Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited (TEN) has entered into contracts with Hyundai Heavy Industries
of South Korea
for the building of two ice-class suezmax tankers. The new vessels are expected to be delivered during the latter half of 2005. They have also taken options on two additional suezmaxes, which, if exercised, would be scheduled for delivery in early 2006.
"These new contracts continue our policy of anticipating our clients' future needs and building high quality vessels to serve them," said Nikolas Tsakos, President and CEO of TEN. "With a potential suezmax fleet of eight double-hulled ice-class tankers, these new vessels will create synergies with the four existing sister suezmaxes, the Silia T, Decathlon, Pentathlon and Triathlon, which, since their delivery in 2002, have been continuously chartered to major clients at accretive rates."
Tsakos continued, "We are extremely pleased to award these new contracts to Hyundai. Since 1998, including options, we have ordered 15 vessels from them, and each delivery has been on-time and to specification." Hyundai of South Korea and Imabari Shipyards of Japan are constructing the entirety of TEN's new building program, totaling 26 vessels to date, including five on option.
In addition to the newly ordered suezmax tankers, TEN expects to receive an additional five vessels over the next two years: one aframax and one panamax within the next six weeks, two handysize product carriers in 2004, and an additional handysize product carrier in 2005. TEN also has options for three additional handysize vessels.
Currently, TEN has contracted employment for its fleet for 70% and 50% of the remaining operating days in 2003 and 2004, respectively.