ATHENS, Greece, Dec. 28, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- STEALTHGAS INC. (Nasdaq:GASS) (the "Company"), a ship-owning company serving primarily the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry, announced today the following new charter arrangements for the Gas Arctic, Gas Czar, Gas Icon, Gas Emperor and Gas Moxie.
New Charter Arrangements:
Commencing in December 2010, the Gas Arctic will commence a one year time charter to a chemical company.
Commencing in December, the Gas Czar commenced a 30 to 90 days time charter to a Far Eastern trading house.
Commencing in December, the Gas Icon commenced a series of short time charters to an international LPG trader. These will run until mid February or mid March 2011.
Commencing in December, the Gas Emperor commenced a series of short term time charters to an international LPG trader. These will run until mid February or mid March 2011.
Commencing in December, the Gas Moxie commenced a two month time charter to a Far East trading group. The charter has the option to extend for a further month.
The average time charter equivalent rate for the above five charters is $249,338 per calendar month or $8,202 per day.
Financing of LPG new buildings.
The Company announced today that it has secured committed financing for the post delivery finance for the first three LPG new buildings to be delivered in February, March and July 2011 from one of its existing lenders. The Company has also signed a term sheet agreeing terms with a new lender for the post delivery financing of the fourth and fifth vessels due for delivery in November 2011 and May 2012. This facility has been approved by the Bank's Credit Committee and is awaiting final ratification by the Bank's Board of Directors which is expected to be received shortly.
Departure of CFO Andrew Simmons.
The Company also announces that following discussions regarding the renewal of our CFO Andrew Simmons' contract in 2011, Mr Simmons has indicated that he will not be renewing his contract next year and as a consequence his contract has been terminated by mutual consent. Mr. Simmons will leave the Company at the end of January 2011. The Company would like to thank Andrew for his contribution to the growth of the Company during his time with us and to wish him continued success in the future.
CEO Harry Vafias commented:
"I am pleased to announce further period charters for five of our vessels and in particular, the one year time charter for the Gas Arctic. Securing this employment for her is I believe a positive sign along with the other charters we have announced today which are at quite attractive levels in terms of income. Following these fixtures I am pleased to announce that we now only have five ships trading in the spot market and currently all of these ships are fully utilized.
"I am also pleased to announce that we have secured financing for the first three of the new LPG vessels to be delivered to us next year from one of our existing lenders and that we are very close to securing the financing for the last two. We have seen significant appetite for these financings from a wide group of banks and I am particularly pleased it would seem we have added another lender to the Company's banking profile. I would like to thank both banks for their support as well as the other banks that offered us facilities."
Fleet Profile and Fleet Deployment:
The table below shows the Company's fleet development and deployment as of today:
LPG Carrier Fleet
- F.P.: Fully-Pressurized
- S.R.: Semi-Refrigerated
- M.R.: Medium Range
(1) Earliest date charters could expire.
(2) The Gas Marathon is deployed under a time charter until June 2011. The Charterer has an option declarable in November 2010 to extend the charter for a further six months.
(3) Gas Nemesis is deployed under a time charter until April 2011. The Charterer has an option, declarable in January 2011 to extend the charter for a further six months.
(4) Gas Evoluzione is deployed from November 2010 under a time charter until August 2011. The Charterer has an option declarable in April 2011 to extend the charter for a further three months.
About STEALTHGAS INC.
Headquartered in Athens, Greece, STEALTHGAS INC. is a ship-owning company primarily serving the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry. STEALTHGAS INC. currently has a fleet of 34 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 155,204 cubic meters (cbm), three M.R. product tankers and one Aframax crude oil tanker. The company has also entered into agreements to acquire five new building LPG carriers with expected delivery from February 2011 through May 2012. Once these acquisitions are completed, STEALTHGAS INC.'s fleet will be composed of 39 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 185,204 cubic meters (cbm), three M.R. product tankers and one Aframax crude oil tanker with a total capacity of 255,804 deadweight tons (dwt). STEALTHGAS INC.'s shares are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and trade under the symbol "GASS".
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, management's 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 dry dockings, changes in STEALTHGAS INC.'s operating expenses, including bunker prices, dry-docking 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.
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CONTACT: STEALTHGAS INC. Harry N. Vafias, Chief Executive Officer 011-30-210-6250-001 email@example.com