Star Bulk to Build More Capes, Loses Long Term Charter with STX Pan Ocean

star bulkStar Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ: SBLK) entered into a newbuilding agreement today with Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding to build a pair of 180,000 DWT Capesize bulk carriers as well as signed a letter of intent with an undisclosed Japanese yard to build two, 60,000 DWT Ultramax bulkers.

The Capes are expected to be delivered from Waigaoqiao in Q4 2015 and Q1 2016, and the two Ultramax ships are planned for delivery in 2015, but are currently subject to final negotiation and execution of definitive documentation.

Star Bulk notes in their exchange filing that the aggregate purchase price of the four ships is approximately USD $151.0 million.

In addition, Star Bulk was notified by STX Pan Ocean that they will be terminating their charter agreement for the Star Borealis, effective immediately. This vessel had previously been signed up on a long term charter until July 2021.

Star Bulk notes that STX currently owns them approximately USD $653,000 and that the vessel was earning a day rate of $24,255.

The good news is that Star Bulk managed to immediately re-charter the Star Borealis at a higher day rate of approximately USD $27,000, however Star Bulk didn’t not mention the duration of the charter in their statement.

Still, Star Bulk notes they intend “to vigorously pursue all amounts owed to it under the charter agreement, including any related damages caused by the termination of the charterparty, under the STX rehabilitation proceedings, which have commenced in Korea.”

Two of Star Bulk’s Supramax vessels also gained charters today.

The Star Gamma was chartered for approximately one year at a gross daily time charter rate of USD $9,400 and the Star Omicron was chartered for minimum three months up to a maximum of five months at a gross daily time charter rate of USD $10,750.