Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited (TEN) has exercised options with Hyundai Heavy Industries
of South Korea
for the building of two suezmax tankers at market competitive prices. The new vessels are expected to be delivered during the early 2006 and will join two sister ships expected to be received in latter half of 2005, as announced on July 9, 2003.
"With these additional two ice class suezmax tankers, we will increase our suezmax fleet to eight sistership, double/double, ice class tankers," said Nikolas Tsakos, President and CEO of TEN. "Discussions with our oil major clients around the world clearly indicate that this type of high-quality tonnage will be in great demand over the next several years. Our proactive approach to increasing our fleet through contracts and options will allow TEN to continually serve our clients needs now and in the future."
Tsakos continued, "Once again, we find ourselves working hand in hand with our partners at Hyundai. With these latest contracts, we have ordered 15 vessels from them since 1998, and have come to expect the highest levels of quality and service. Hyundai continually meets and exceeds our expectations." Hyundai of South Korea and Imabari Shipyards of Japan are constructing the entirety of TEN's newbuilding program, totaling 28 vessels to date, including three on option.
In addition to the two suezmaxes announced today, TEN expects to receive five additional vessels over the next two years: two handysize product carriers in 2004, an additional handysize product carrier in 2005 and the two sistership suezmaxes in 2005. TEN also has options for three additional handysize vessels for delivery 2004 and 2005.
Currently, TEN has contracted employment for its fleet for 70% and 48% of the remaining operating days in 2003 and 2004, respectively.