Stealthgas Inc. announces the postponement of deliveries for five new building LPG vessels.
Stealthgas Inc. also announces the default of the bareboat charterer of the Gas Ice, and new charter arrangements on three existing vessels and one vessel to be delivered in April
Stealthgas Inc. also announces the default of the bareboat charterer of the Gas Ice, and new charter arrangements on three existing vessels and one vessel to be delivered in April.
ATHENS, GREECE, Tuesday, March 31, 2009. STEALTHGAS INC. (NASDAQ: GASS) (the âCompanyâ), a ship-owning company serving primarily the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry, announced today that following amicable negotiations with the builder, deliveries of the five LPG carriers to be constructed by them will be put back such that they will now occur during 2011 and 2012 and no vessels will now be delivered during 2010. The Company is also pleased to announce that the above amended agreement was concluded at no cost to Stealthgas Inc. The Company has also announced that the charter to Societa Cooperative di Navigazione a.r.l. âG. Giuliettiâ of Genoa Italy, the bare boat charterer under which the Gas Ice was deployed has been illegally terminated by them. The Company is currently exploring all possible legal means at its disposal with which to recoup losses incurred as a consequence of the above actions by G Giulietti. Already ships owned or controlled by these charterers have been arrested by the company as a means of securing monies owed to the company as a consequence of the illegal termination of the bareboat charter.
The Company also announced the following new charter arrangements:
The Gas Astrid will upon her delivery to the Company on April 16, 2009 commence a one year time charter to a major Far Eastern LPG operator.
The Lyne is currently deployed under bare boat charter that expires in May 2009 this has been extended with her current charterer until December 2009.
The Sir Ivor is currently deployed under bare boat charter that expires in May 2009 this has been extended with her current charterer until December 2009.
The Gas Sikousis is currently deployed under a time charter that expires in May 2009, this has been extended with her current charterer until May 2010.
The average time charter equivalent rate for the above four charters is $ 232,894 per calendar month or $7,661 per day.
Fleet Profile and Fleet Deployment:
The table below show 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 Gas Prophet has for the three-year duration of bareboat charter been renamed the M.T. Ming Long.
(3)Â Gas Eternity has for the duration of its bareboat charter been renamed the M.T. Yu Tian 9.
(4)Â Gas Sikousis is currently employed under a time charter until May 2009. Thereafter, at the chartererâs option, the time charter can be extended for two one-year periods, the first one to be negotiated in May 2009.
(5)Â Gas Natalie, upon her delivery, continued to be deployed under an existing bareboat charter to a major international LPG operator that expires in September 2011. The charterer has an option in September 2009 and 2010 to cancel the existing charter upon the payment of a cancellation fee in the amount of $336,000, if exercised in 2009, or $180,000, if exercised in 2010.
(6)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Gas Astrid upon her delivery in April 2009 will be deployed on a one year time charter to a major Far East gas operator
(7)Â The Stealth S.V. a 46,000 deadweight M.R. type product carrier is expected to be delivered to the Company in April 2009, whereupon she will commence a three-year time charter.
(8)Â The Stealth Argentina, a 50,500 deadweight M.R. type product carrier, is expected to be delivered to the Company in November 2009, whereupon she will commence a three-year bareboat charter.
About STEALTHGAS INC.
Headquartered in Athens, Greece, STEALTHGAS INC. is a ship-owning company primarily serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry.Â STEALTHGAS INC. currently has a fleet of 39 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 173,499 cubic meters (cbm) and two M.R. product tankers.Â In addition, the company has entered into agreements to acquire two resale new building LPG carriers, the Gas Astrid and the Gas Exelero, with expected delivery in April and June 2009, respectively, plus five new building LPG carriers with expected delivery from September 2010 through December 2011 and two resale new building M.R. product carriers with expected delivery in April and November 2009.Â Once these acquisitions are completed, STEALTHGAS INC.âS fleet will be composed of 46 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 210,499 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, 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, 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