StealthGas Inc. completed the sale of the Gas Sophie,a 1995 built 3,500 cbm LPG carrier.
StealthGas Inc., a ship-owning company serving primarily the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry, announced yesterday that on June 10, 2009 it completed the sale of the Gas Sophie,a 1995 built 3,500 cbm LPG carrier, to an unaffiliated entity based in the Far East. On June 30, 2009, the Company also completed the previously announced acquisition of the Gas Exelero, a 2009 built 3,300 Fully Pressurized LPG carrier, which was immediately deployed under a one year time charter to a major Far Eastern gas operator.
The Company also announced the following new charter arrangements:
Commencing from the beginning of June, the Gas Courchevel has been time chartererd for between two to four months to a major LPG operator.
Commencing from the beginning of July, the Gas Defiance has been time chartered for three months to an Australian oil company.
Commencing from mid-July, the Gas Czar has been time chartered for three months with a further three month option to a Far Eastern based owner/operator.
Commencing from the beginning of July, the time charter for the Gas Fortune has been extended for a further month.
The average time charter equivalent rate for the above four charters is $245,375 per calendar month or $8,072 per day.
Commenting on the various announcements CEO Harry Vafias said, "We are pleased to have secured the sale of the Gas Sophie at a price of $6.5 million. otwithstanding that, the 22 months that we owned the vessel covered a period with one of the steepest downturns in the shipping sector, the price we obtained for the vessel was just 13% less than we had paid for her nearly two years ago. This, I believe, demonstrates the underlying value and strength of our company and also illustrates how steady values remain in our core handy size LPG sector while charter rates also remain relatively stable as evidenced by the average rate quoted above for the time charters we have recently negotiated.
"I am also pleased that we have added another brand new vessel to the fleet, the Gas Exelero, a sister ship of the Gas Astrid that joined us in April. The Gas Exelero is time chartered for one year to the same charterer as for the Gas Astrid. With the sale of the Gas Sophie and the acquisition of this new ship we continue to improve the age profile and quality of our fleet.
"Finally the new charter arrangements we have announced today again underscore the steadiness of the rates we are achieving in our core market despite the adverse prevailing economic conditions."