Gas carrier owner and operator Epic Gas has exercised purchase options for three LPG vessels, the company said announcing its first-quarter results.
The options form part of existing lease agreements expiring in the first quarter of 2019 and relate to 2000-built Epic Balta, 2002-built Epic Burano and 2002-built Epic Bolivar.
Epic Gas said the trio was leased back to a Japanese ship owning company, resulting in a net decreased monthly finance cost.
The company has purchase options to re-acquire the vessels during the charter period, with the first
such option exercisable on the third anniversary of the vessels’ delivery.
During the quarter, Epic Gas sold the oldest ship in its fleet, the Epic St. John, built in 1998,
at a margin over book value. In addition, the gas carrier owner completed a sale-leaseback transaction for the 2007-built Epic Manhattan with an unnamed Japanese company.
Epic Gas ended the first three months of this year with a net loss of USD 2.7 million, down from last year’s loss of USD 3.4 million.
At the end of Q1 2018, the company had a fleet of 39 vessels with a total capacity of 264,000cbm and an average size of 6,769 cbm, a 3.2 pct increase in average size from a year ago.
The national shipping carrier of Saudi Arabia, Bahri, has taken delivery of the final vessel from a series of ten very large crude carriers (VLCCs), ordered from South Korea-based Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in 2015.
The newbuilding, named Amad, is the 46th VLCC and brings the company’s total fleet size to 93 ships.
The new vessel will be operated on a time-charter/spot basis and marks the completion of Bahri’s agreement to build five firm and five optional VLCCs at the yard.
With the capacity to transport 2.2 million barrels of crude oil, the 300,000-DWT carrier stands at 333 meters long with a beam of 60 meters, and a depth of 30 meters. Amad can achieve a speed of 14.4 knots.
“A strong fleet of VLCCs allows us to further penetrate and capture the lion’s share of the market through strategic expansions in key geographies, which will, in turn, provide a significant boost to the Kingdom’s ongoing efforts to establish itself as a unique regional logistics gateway to three continents,” said Abdullah Al-Dubaikhi, CEO of Bahri.
“By further solidifying our leadership credentials as the world’s largest owner and operator of VLCCs, the robustness of our fleet enables us to expand our business prospects in the oil tanker market, meet the growing demand for crude oil transportation, and enhance our service offering to deliver greater efficiency and value to our stakeholders.”
Amad joins the four vessels Bahri received from HSHI earlier this year, namely, Kassab, Lawhah, Qamran, and Khurais, following the five vessels the company received in 2017, including Amjad, Maharah, Aslaf, Rimthan, and Shaden.
Yang Ming Line’s fleet renewal has been kickstarted with the order of ten new containerships, set to be chartered by the company upon delivery.
Namely, Costamare and Shoei Kisen have reportedly ordered five 11,000 TEU firm containerships each at Jiangsu New Yangzijiang Shipbuilding and Shoei’s sister company Imabari Shipbuilding, respectively, Clarksons Platou Shipbroking said.
The two companies have options to order two optional units each.
The ships, which are scheduled to start delivery in the second half of 2020, will be employed on a long-term time charter by Yang Ming.
The Taiwanese shipping company received a green light from its board to move forward with the fleet renewal in February this year.
Under the plan, Yang Ming will order the construction of ten 2,800 TEU containerships and charter ten 11,000 TEU containerships.
The new ships will replace the vessels which are about to be off-hired or retired in the next 2 to 3 years.
Euroseas, a Greece-based owner of containerships and bulk carriers, has spun off its drybulk fleet into a separate company.
The company said that it filed a registration statement on Form F-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission to spin-off its drybulk fleet into a separate company, EuroDry Ltd., which has applied for listing on the NASDAQ Capital Market.
“We believe that separate drybulk and containership investment options will give our shareholders the flexibility to adjust their holdings, if they so wish, between the two sectors. We also anticipate that the creation of sector-focused companies will allow the capital markets to appreciate the value that our public platforms can create as consolidators in their respective fields,” Aristides Pittas, Chairman and CEO of Euroseas, said.
EuroDry Ltd. is a middle range drybulk owner with six vessels in its fleet, three of which are newbuildings, one Ultramax and two Kamsarmaxes, and three Panamaxes built post-2000.
Euroseas Ltd., the only feeder containership public company, has a fleet of eleven vessels now.
“We plan to take advantage of growth opportunities in each of the two sectors to increase the size of each respective company as we believe that they are both well positioned to do so both in terms of their capital structure and their contract mix,” Pittas said.
The company reported a net loss of USD 3.2 million in the first quarter of 2018, as compared to a net loss of USD 2.2 million for the first quarter of 2017.
Regarding developments post-March 31, Euroseas said that it took delivery of newbuilding M/V Ekaterini, a 82,000 dwt drybulk vessel, which entered into a two-year charter at a rate of USD 13,000 per day.
Euroseas also reported that its containership, M/V EM Astoria, suffered propeller damage and will require repairs that will prevent the vessel from trading.
“The company is making every possible effort for the vessel to resume trading in the shortest possible time,” Euroseas said.
Greek shipowner DryShips has inked sale and leaseback agreements for six bulkers with Chinese lenders.
Under the financing arrangement signed in May, five ships will be transferred to the buyer for 50 pct of the agreed aggregate purchase price of USD 164 million. The company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries will bareboat charter each vessel back for a period of eight years, with expiry set for May 2026.
The ships in question are three Newcastlemaxes, Marini, Morandi and Bacon and two Kamsarmaxes, Castellani and Nasaka.
DryShips said that the vessels are expected to be delivered and leased back to the company during May 2018.
The Greek shipping company has options to re-acquire each vessel during their respective bareboat charter periods, starting from the first anniversary of each vessel’s delivery date. There is also a purchase obligation upon the expiration of each bareboat agreement for 46.67 pct of the financing amount.
The deal was sealed just a month after Dryships entered into a finance lease arrangement with a Chinese leasing company for Kelly, a Kamsarmax drybulk vessel, under similar terms. The vessel will be chartered back for a period of ten years and DryShips has an option to buy back the ship.
Separately, DryShips said that it has decided to sell its 2001 built Panamax vessel, the Maganari, to an unaffiliated buyer for USD 9.7 million. The vessel is scheduled for delivery to the buyer by end of May 2018.
The owner of bulkers, tankers and gas carriers ended the first quarter of 2018 with a net profit USD 0.8 million, rebounding from a loss of USD 11 million reported a year ago.
Danish-based Maersk Tankers has welcomed into its fleet Maersk Capri, a newbuilding Medium Range (MR) product/chemical tanker.
The 50,000 dwt ship, flagged in Singapore, was named on April 19 at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Ningbo, China.
” Maersk Capri is part of our fleet renewal to sustain a competitive fleet and strong market position in the MR segment,” the company said announcing the delivery.
The ship was ordered from SHI in 2015 as part of a USD 300 million contract for nine ships and it is the second ship from the series to be delivered from the yard so far this year. Maersk Capri follows in the footsteps of Singapore-flagged Maersk Cancun, which was delivered in January.
Five more tankers are set to be delivered to Maersk by the end of the year, according to the data from VesselsValue, with two more scheduled for completion in 2019.
Aside from the MR sector fleet buildup, Maersk Tankers is also pursuing fleet renewal in its Long Range (LR) sector. Namely, earlier this week the company revealed its intention to order six LR2 ships from Dalian Shipyard.
The six vessels are scheduled for delivery over a period of two years with the first vessels entering the fleet in 2020.
Bermuda-incorporated Suezmax owner Nordic American Tankers (NAT) has decided to sell two ships, thus reducing its fleet size to 31 tanker vessels.
The move has been described as a means of “retaining the flexibility of NAT going forward”.
“We expect that the sales will take place over the next couple of weeks,” Herbjørn Hansson, Chairman & CEO of Nordic American Tankers, said.
NAT did not disclose details on the vessels being sold and World Maritime News is pending a comment on the matter from the company.
The sale is being announced as three newbuildings are expected to join the company’s fleet in July, August and October 2018, respectively.
Hansen added that the fleet adjustment “should be seen in this light.”
Moving forward the company says it is optimistic about the market outlook.
Denmark-based shipping company Dampskibsselskabet Norden has expanded its fleet with two MR2 tankers, according to data provided by VesselsValue.
The units in questions are the 51,300 dwt Anja Kirk and Marianne Kirk, which were constructed by South Korea’s STX Offshore & Shipbuilding in 2009.
VesselsValue data shows that Norden paid USD 18.75 million for each ship.
Featuring a length of 183 meters and a beam of 32 meters, the units were purchased from Danish holding and investment company Kirk Kapital on April 27.
German shipping company Hamburg Bulk Carriers (HBC) has taken delivery of its last newbuilding from the 12-strong series, the MV Venture Grace.
The vessel is the final ship delivered by Qingshan Shipyard as the yard was closed down by CSC Group.
The ship features the HBC 43 design, which is based on B.Delta43 from the Finish designer Deltamarin. The Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) of the design is 20 percent below the 2020 requirement.
The company started off its newbuilding program by ordering 10 ships in China, the majority of which were financed from HBC’s own equity.
The first newbuilding from the series, Venture Goal, which is fitted with an LNG dual-fuel ready engine, was delivered in 2015. The ship was followed by four more sister ships in the same year. Two ships were handed over in 2016.
The remaining trio was delivered to the company last year. The three ships, MV Eurus Venture, Notos Venture and Zephyr Venture, were sold to a European trading house.
MV Venture Grace was purchased by HBC as part of an en-block resale deal in 2017. The first ship from the batch, La Venture, was delivered in July 2017.
The company’s managed and operated fleet is composed of 29 bulk carriers, based on the company's website data.
Owner and operator of dry bulk vessels GoodBulk Ltd. has expanded its fleet with a 2009-built Capesize vessel, the Aquamaka.
The company took delivery of the 179,362 dwt unit, constructed by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries, on April 27, 2018.
Aquamaka is the final out of the seven initial Capesize vessels acquired from funds managed by CarVal Investors in October 2017.
The company said that the purchase was financed with a combination of cash on hand, availability under existing credit facilities and the issuance of 1,280,000 new common shares to funds managed by CarVal.
Including the Aquamaka, GoodBulk has a fleet of 25 vessels, consisting of 22 Capesize vessels, of which two are expected to be delivered by July 2018.