STX Offshore and Shipbuilding announced this week a signed $120 million Letter of Intent (LOI) with an unnamed Greek owner to build two 6,500-CBM LPG vessels in Busan, Korea. Delivery is anticipated in the second quarter of 2014.
According to analyst firm Clarksons, global demand for LPG carriers has been on the rise this year. In fact, Greek owner StealthGas announced this week a 400% rise in earnings for the first quarter. CEO Harry Vafias commented in their earning’s report:
We are now in a position to expand and renew our fleet and continue to look at opportunities for modern vessels.
In a chat with StealthGas this morning, the “unnamed Greek owner” is a member of the Vafias Group, but no further details were given.
In addition, STX notes that it is engaging in last-minute talks with a Middle East client over an extremely sophisticated, and expensive, liquefied ethylene carrier. The two deals are valued at roughly $430 million.
Earlier this year, STX announced their intentions to sell a controlling stake in their Norway-based STX OSV, a builder of highly specialized offshore supply vessels. 18 companies were on the list of potential investors. Singapore-based Keppel and Sembcorp both mentioned earlier this year that they were not planning on making bids, although the option is still on the table.