U.S.-listed Costamare Inc. (NYSE: CMRE) has placed new shipbuilding orders for eight containerships backed by long-term charters and the acquisition of more dry bulk ships.
The shipbuilding orders come in two batches, the first being new contracts for two newbuilds and the second as options exercised on existing contracts.
The new contracts were signed with an Asian shipyard for two newbuildings each of 13,000 TEU capacity. The exercised options call for an additional six containership newbuildings, comprised of two 13,000 TEU and four 15,000 TEU newbuilds.
Delivery of all eight vessels are planned between Q3 2023 and Q1 2024, at which point they will commence long term charters with a leading liner company. Costamare said the newbuilds will be financed with cash on hand and debt.
Costamare has also acquired seven secondhand dry bulk vessels with delivery between now and January 2022. One of the vessels, the 2015-built MV Soho Trader (63,473 dwt), has already been delivered. The seven ships are also expected to be financed cash on hand and debt.
Traditionally a container shipping company, Costamare expanded into the dry bulk sector in June with the acquisition of 16 dry bulk vessels ranging between 33,000 and 85,000 DWT. It’s since grown its dry bulk fleet to 44, including the seven ships announced today.
Gregory Zikos, Chief Financial Officer of the Company, said: “We are pleased to expand our containership fleet and time charter coverage with the addition of modern and high specifications tonnage supported by long term charters.
“During the year we chartered in total 47 container vessels adding contracted revenues of US $1.8 billion. Including the two recently concluded new building contracts and the options exercised, total contracted revenues amount to US $4.8 billion and the remaining weighted average time charter duration for the fleet is 6.3 years.
“At the same time we are expanding our dry bulk fleet, bringing the total number of owned dry bulk vessels to 44, executing on our decision to invest in a liquid sector where supply is limited by a low orderbook and demand is being driven by increased infrastructure spending and commodity consumption.”
The seven secondhand dry bulk acquisitions include:
- MV Soho Trader, 2015-built, 63,473 dwt
- MV Soho Merchant, 2015-built, 63,800 dwt
- MV Star Damon, 2012-built, 63,227 dwt
- MV George P, 2012-built, 81,569 dwt
- MV Egyptian Mike, 2011-built, 81,601 dwt
- MV Belnor, 2010-built, 58,018 dwt and
- MV Belstar, 2009-built, 57,970 dwt
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