Athens-based LPG shipper StealthGas (Nasdaq:GASS) has announced the newbuilding order of two LPG carriers from Japanese shipyards consisting of a 5,000 cubic meter (cbm) vessel and a 3,500 cbm vessel with deliveries scheduled for Q4 2014 and Q1 2015, respectively.
StealthGas notes that with this new order, 17 new ships are expected to be delivered to the company between March 2014 and August 2015 at a total cost of approximately $345 million.
To finance this fleet expansion, StealthGas has already made deposits of $75 million and they intend to fund the remaining capital expenditure of approximately $270 million through bank finance and available cash.
In addition, SteathGas has made a few executive-level hirings including Mr. Stavros Papantonopoulos – Finance Manager and Dr. Diamantis Andriotis – Chief Technical Officer.
CEO Harry Vafias commented on the latest developments:
“I would like to welcome both Mr. Papantonopoulos and Dr. Andriotis and believe that with their experience and vigor they will be valuable additions to our fast growing company. I would also like to thank Mr. Sistovaris for stepping in to provide his assistance at a time we needed to secure bank financing for our expanding fleet. We stay committed to growing this company further and in that respect have added two more eco newbuilds to our orderbook at a time when markets have been improving compared to the seasonal weakness experienced in previous quarters and now with 17 eco LPG carriers under construction with prompt deliveries we offer great optionality to our shareholders.”