ATHENS, Greece, September 3, 2014 â STEALTHGAS INC. (Nasdaq:GASS), a ship-owning company primarily serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry, announced today as part of its fleet expansion program the acquisition of two newbuilding LPG vessels.
The company exercised the acquisition options with a Korean yard and the additions to the fleet consist of two 22,000 cbm semi refrigerated eco LPG carriers scheduled to be delivered in the second and third quarter of 2017, respectively. The company expects that the acquisition of these larger semi refrigerated eco LPG carriers that can load LPG with high ethane content, will complement well its already leading position in Â pressurized vessels. Moreover in stealthgasâ option vessels can be fitted with exchaust scrubbers and ice class notation making them even more versatile commercially.
With the addition of these two vessels in the expansion plan the company remains to acquire a total of 19 newbuilding LPG carriers. Total capital expenditure for all the acquisitions amounts to approximately $500 million. The acquisition of these vessels will be funded with a combination of debt financing and already available cash. With these additions total asset value of the fleet will amount to approximately $1.15 billion.
Michael Jolliffe our Chairman commented "Stealthgas is now the prominent owner of pressurised LPG ships worldwide, and with this expansion into handy-size vessels, and with a Â total of 19 of the most modern eco type LPG ships on order,Â Stealthgas will continue its carefully thought out expansion program to the ongoing benefit of its shareholders".
The Company also announced the conclusion of the following chartering arrangements:
A one year time charter extension for its 5,000 cbm, 2006 built, LPG carrier, Gas Inspiration, to an international trading house until August 2015.
A one year time charter for its 6,300 cbm, 2007 built, LPG carrier, Gas Flawless, to a national energy company until August 2015.
A one year time charter for its newbuilding 5,000 cbm, 2014 built, LPG carrier, Eco Invictus,Â to be delivered September 2014, to an established owner-operator.
A two year minimum time charter for its newbuilding 5,000 cbm, LPG carrier, Eco Dream, to be delivered in the 2nd quarter 2015 to an international gas company , with a charterers option to extend the period.
A two year minimum time charter for its newbuilding 5,000 cbm, LPG carrier, Eco Green, to be delivered in the 3rd quarter 2015 to an international gas company, with a charterers option to extend the period.
A two months time charter for its 3,400 cbm, 1992 built, LPG carrier, Gas Arctic, to an established owner-operator.
Fleet List and Fleet Deployment
For information on our fleet and further information:
Visit our website at www.stealthgas.com
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 40 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 196,758 cubic meters (cbm), three M.R. product tankers and one Aframax oil tanker with a total capacity of 255,804 deadweight tons (dwt). The Company has agreed to acquire 19 LPG carriers with expected deliveries by 2017. Giving effect to the delivery of these acquisitions, StealthGas Inc.âs LPG carrier fleet will be composed of 59 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 359,158 cubic meters (cbm). 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 drydockings, changes in STEALTHGAS INCâs operating expenses, including bunker prices, drydocking 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.