NewLead fixes bitumen tanker on timecharter

NewLead Holdings has fixed one of its bitumen tankers to an undisclosed counterparty on a six-month timecharter with extension options.

The tanker Newlead Granadino (5,900 dwt, built 2009; pictured) was fixed at a net charter rate of $10,500 per day for the initial six months. NewLead says the vessel is trading in North America for the charter, which commenced on July 22.

Once the initial period has expired, the charterer has the option to extend the contract for additional six-month periods up to a maximum of 18 months at a rate of $10,750 daily.

The rate shows an advance on the $8,900 daily the vessel was earning on its previous period charter, a nine-month contract that expired in January this year. NewLead, which bought the vessel in November 2014, said this increase is due in part to modifications made recently to increase the ship’s cargo in-take capacity by 5%, decrease its fuel consumption for heating cargo and for steaming, and to improve its speed.

“We invested in the improvement of the technical condition of the vessel in order to ensure an improved operational and commercial performance that would permit the vessel’s repositioning in North America,” commented Michael Zolotas, chairman and CEO of NewLead.

“Today, four out of our five bitumen oil tanker vessels are in a timecharter contract and one is trading spot which allows for hedging of the bitumen market fluctuations.

“Newlead is aiming to expand the company’s fleet with modern bitumen tankers to not only have a strong presence in the Mediterranean Sea and the United Arab Emirates area, but also in North America in order to develop on our strategic decision to be a worldwide player in the bitumen oil tanker market.”

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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