Hellespont Group is looking for partners to join Seatramp Intermediate Tanker Pool, its new vehicle for chemical/product tankers set up specifically to help owners manage the recession.
Basil Papachristides" Hellespont Group is looking for partners to join Seatramp Intermediate Tanker Pool, its new vehicle for chemical/product tankers set up specifically to help owners manage the recession.
The Hamburg-headquartered group, which has deferred delivery of two newbuildings, the 17,000 dwt chemical carriers Hellespont Commander and Hellespont Crusader, in response to the market downturn, is aiming at a fleet of between 25 and 30 vessels built from 2000 onwards and ranging in size from 10,000 dwt to 20,000 dwt, according to Christian von Oldershausen, chief executive of Hellespont AG in Hamburg, whose team is behind the venture.
Hellespont currently operates 19 vessels ranging from the 105,535 dwt aframax Hellespont Tatina to platform supply vessels.
Two of these, the Hellespont Daring and Hellespont Dawn have been delivered recently. The group has 12 vessels on order including the Hellespont Commander and Hellespont Crusader, the last in the series, which were to have been delivered in October and December 2009 but which will now join the fleet late in 2010. Delivery has been deferred and renegotiated due to current market conditions.
?Interest in such a pool within and outside Germany has been strong and no one has a stronger interest than Hellespont in the destiny of these ships. Leaving this to someone else would not be the right signal to the market,? Mr von Oldershausen told.
?We have an obligation and responsibility to take charge of these ships and Hellespont will be responsible for start up costs. Vessels" income will be distributed to owners as soon as possible from vessel earnings?
With tonnage oversupply in all trading regions and the number of fixing days forward at an all-time low, charter rates were below historical averages and spot charter rates were reportedly below $0.70 per dwt per day, said Mr von Oldershausen.
?Pools provide better-than-market and less volatile earnings; recent consolidation initiatives such as Maersk/Brostrom create the need for an alternative carrier and stable client relationships lead to long-term earnings prospects,? Mr von Oldershausen added.
Hellespont Tankers will act as pool manager from a new office in Dom Strasse in Hamburg under Mr von Oldershausen and business development co-ordinator Phrixos Papachristides, with two chartering managers from Brostrom & Iverships and UPT and Albis, two operators including an ex-master mariner with eight years" seagoing experience, two accountants and a management assistant.
?Our intention is to establish a judicial balance of tonnage and cargo/charter cover, equitable dealings with all pool participants, transparency of operations and timely reporting to participating owners, prompt settlement of voyage costs and other market obligations and prompt flow-through of remaining cash to owners,? said Mr von Oldershausen.