Latest Vessel Acquisition Will Generate Immediate Returns In the Current Strong VLCC Market
Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited (TEN) announced that it has taken delivery of the 299,700 dwt double hull VLCC M/T Maersk Estelle
, built in Denmark
in 1994. The vessel, renamed La Madrina, will immediately enter into a 40-day voyage loading West African crude for an oil major for discharge either in the US Gulf or in Continent/Med while the Company considers opportunities for longer- term employment. The time charter equivalent rate for this voyage equates to approximately $100,000 per day.
"The current spot market for VLCCs makes this a extremely advantageous time to take delivery of the latest addition to our fleet," stated Nikolas P. Tsakos, President and CEO of Tsakos Energy Navigation. "In acquiring this vessel, TEN demonstrates a highly accretive redeployment of the cash realized from our recent sale and charter back of two suezmaxes announced late last year. Additionally, the rate that we have secured for the La Madrina will generate significant revenue and we will continue to monitor the prevailing spot market rates in order to determine the best future employment for her."
Tsakos continued, "Our fleet has grown to meet the ever changing needs of our customers, and we continue to build and acquire a diversified and modern high quality fleet to meet those needs and the latest stringent environmental regulations. The La Madrina joins one of the youngest fleets in the industry, representing a cross section of many vessel classes, enabling TEN to remain flexible and customer focused in a rapidly changing environment. Acquisitions like the La Madrina show our commitment to taking the necessary steps to ensure that we can serve our clients now and in the future."
Out of 28 vessels, TEN currently has 21 operating with medium or long-term employment contracts, some at variable rates, accounting for 65% of the operating days for 2004. These contracts will generate a minimum of approximately $135 million in revenues, which should provide a sustainable flow of earnings and enhanced shareholder value. The company currently employs its remaining 7 vessels in the spot market, including the new VLCC. Currently, 90% of TEN's fleet is of double hull design.