George Economou’s DryShips has made good on its plans to move into gas shipping, exercising an option for one of four VLGCs it acquired at “zero cost” from Economou’s TMS Cardiff last week.
The $83.5m LPG carrier is under construction at South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries and is expected to be delivered in June 2017. Upon delivery, the vessel is locked into a five-year firm charter with an oil major, with a further three year option. The charter is expected to generate $54m, or $92.7m if the option is taken.
Economou, commenting on the deal, said: “We are very pleased to have declared our first option to purchase a high specification VLGC with long term employment to an oil major at above market rates. This acquisition allows us to deploy the Company’s available liquidity immediately and will be highly accretive to earnings and cash flow. This marks the first acquisition of the Company since the restructuring of its balance sheet and our first investment in the gas carrier segment which we believe has very positive long-term fundamentals.”
DryShips is required to pay a 25% deposit on the vessel during this month, and has three months to exercise options on the other three vessels.