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Newlead Holdings bitumen carrier wins contract of affreightment

Athens: A bitumen tanker owned by Nasdaq-listed NewLead Holdings has begun a contract of affreightment (COA) for the transportation of more than 31,000 tons of bitumen over a minimum of ten voyages within a ten-month period.

The Katerina L (3,500 dwt, built 2009) could carry up to a maximum of 49,600 tons of bitumen over 16 voyages at the charterer’s option, NewLead Holdings said in a statement.

“The Katerina L will be be trading in the Mediterranean and United Arab Emirates areas between all the major refineries in the respective areas,” the owner said.

The first voyage should commence by the end of February; the vessel will be employed for between 100 and 300 days in 2015.

The ship is one of five second-hand bitumen tanker vessels purchased by NewLead this year. The acquisitions also include the 2009-built Captain Nikolas I, Nepheli, Ioli and the 2008-built Sofia.

“Our strong relationships with oil majors and specialised oil and bitumen trading companies allowed us to enter into the contract of affreightment for the transportation of all bitumen within a few months of the final delivery of all five bitumen tanker vessels,” Michael Zolotas, chairman and CEO of NewLead, said of the new deal.

The newly delivered Nepheli has been fixed on a period charter until July this year, helping Newlead’s tanker fleet 23.9% coverage of its operating days for 2015. The rest of the company’s fleet trades on the spot market.

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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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