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Castor Maritime enters tanker sector with double aframax buy

Nasdaq-listed Greek owner Castor Maritime has entered the tanker sector with the acquisition of two 2005-built Korean aframax tankers for $27.2m.

Castor says the vessels come attached with charter contacts with around one year remaining at $15,000 per day charter hire, and a profit sharing arrangement. The charterer also has the option to extend for an additional one-year term.

The tankers have recently completed their special surveys and are equipped with ballast water treatment systems.

Castor did not reveal the identity of the vessels or the seller, however data from VesselsValue indicates the pair are likely Dubai Navigation’s Dubai Harmony and Dubai Hope.

Petros Panagiotidis, chief executive officer of Castor, commented: “As we have communicated previously, we are a Company that aims to take advantage of attractive opportunities presented to us, as the shipping cycles evolve. Therefore, we are very excited to be entering the tanker market, at what we believe is an opportune time for this sector. While the tanker market may face continued headwinds in the short to medium term, the attached time charter contracts provide us with cash flow security while the profit sharing arrangement allows us to benefit further should a rate recovery materialize within their duration. In addition, we believe that the diversification of our fleet across the dry bulk and tanker sector provides us with a natural hedge against the cyclicality of the shipping industry. With significant capital on hand, we are actively continuing to look for further opportunities to diversify and grow our fleet with the addition of high quality tonnage.”

Completion of the deal is scheduled for the first quarter.

Prior to this latest deal, Castor Maritime had a fleet of nine bulkers including recent acquisitions. The company started out as a panamax specialist, and recently moved into the capesize segment and also acquired its first kamsarmaxes.

Shares in Castor Maritime finished up 45% yesterday, closing at $1.73 having soared since the beginning of 2021 when they were priced at just 19c.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.

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