STEALTHGAS INC. ANNOUNCES NEW CHARTER ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE LYNE, THE SIR IVOR, THE GAS DEFIANCE, THE GAS PRODIGY AND THE GAS CZAR.
ATHENS, GREECE, September 24, 2009. STEALTHGAS INC. (NASDAQ: GASS), a ship-owning company primarily serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry, announced today the following new charter arrangements.
In September the Gas Prodigy commenced a one month time charter to an Asian national oil company. The charterer has the option to extend the duration of the charter by a further month.
Commencing from October the Gas Czar will extend her existing time charter to a Far Eastern based operator for a further three months.
Commencing from October 2009 the Gas Defiance will extend her existing time charter to an Asian gas supplier for a further three months until January 2010.
Commencing from December 2009 the Lyne and the Sir Ivor will renew their bareboat charter arrangements to an international gas trader for a further seventeen months each until approximately May 2011.
The average time charter equivalent rate for the above five charters is $273,876 per calendar month or $9,009 per day.
CEO Harry Vafias commented:
âWe are pleased to have secured these period charters which on an overall basis are virtually unchanged from the rates prevailing on these vessels previously. This in my view further underlines the relative steadiness of our core sector, which continues to hold up quite well in the face of the current challenges posed by the world economy, and provides two out of the five ships discussed above with secure medium term employment until May 2011. Plus all of the charters outlined above are to high quality charterers. However we continue to be puzzled by the companyâs share price despite our solid results, the sectorâs firm fundamentals and the relatively low debt of the company.â
Fleet Profile and Fleet Deployment:
The table below shows the Companyâs fleet development and deployment as of today:
LPG Carrier Fleet
Product Tanker Fleet
â¢Â F.P.: Fully-Pressurized
â¢Â S.R.: Semi-Refrigerated
â¢Â M.R.: Medium Range
(1)Â Earliest date charters could expire.Â Most charters include options to shorten or extend their term.
(2)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Birgit Kosan will be redelivered in October 2009 upon payment of a cancellation fee of $192,000.
(3)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Gas Prophet has for the three-year duration of bareboat charter been renamed the M.T. Ming Long.
(4)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Gas Evoluzione will be deployed from September 2009 under a time charter to a major international gas trader. The Charterer has the option of extending this charter for a further year upon its expiry in April 2010. The Charterer must declare this option no later than October 15, 2009.
(5)Â Gas Eternity has for the duration of its bareboat charter been renamed the M.T. Yu Tian 9.Â
(6)Â Gas Natalie, upon her delivery, continued to be deployed under an existing bareboat charter to a major international LPG operator expiring in September 2011.Â The charterer exercised an option to cancel the existing charter in September 2009 upon the payment of a cancellation fee of $336,000.
(7)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The charterers of the Gas Prodigy have an option to extend her charter for a further month prior to the expiry of the existing time charter.
(8)Â Stealth Argentina, a 50,500 deadweight M.R. type product carrier, is expected to be delivered in November 2009.Â Upon her delivery she will be deployed under a three-year bareboat charter.
About STEALTHGAS INC.
Headquartered in Athens, Greece, STEALTHGAS INC. is a ship-owning company primarily serving the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry.Â STEALTHGAS INC. currently has a fleet of 40 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 176,999 cubic meters (cbm) and three M.R. product tankers.Â In addition, the company has entered into agreements to acquire five new building LPG carriers with expected delivery from February 2011 through May 2012 and one resale new building M.R. product carrier with expected delivery in November 2009.Â Once these acquisitions are completed, STEALTHGAS INC.âS fleet will be composed of 45 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 206,999 cubic meters (cbm) and four M.R. product tankers with a total capacity of 190,500 deadweight tons (dwt).Â STEALTHGAS INC.âS shares are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and trade under the symbol âGASSâ.
Matters discussed in this release may constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance and may include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, managementâs examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from third parties. Although STEALTHGAS INC. believes that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, STEALTHGAS INC. cannot assure you that it will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections. Important factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions, including changes in charter hire rates and vessel values, charter counterparty performance, changes in demand that may affect attitudes of time charterers to scheduled and unscheduled dry dockings, changes in STEALTHGAS INCâs operating expenses, including bunker prices, dry-docking and insurance costs, ability to obtain financing and comply with covenants in our financing arrangements, or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents and political events or acts by terrorists.
Risks and uncertainties are further described in reports filed by STEALTHGAS INC. with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Visit our website at www.stealthgas.com
Andrew J. Simmons
Chief Financial Officer