Greece’s StealthGas yesterday took delivery of its last newbuilding LPG vessel, completing an extensive, seven-year long newbuild program.
The vessel delivered is a 22,000 cu m ice-class, semi-refrigerated, scrubber-fitted LPG carrier called Eco Freeze.
The delivery concludes the company’s expansion phase, which commenced in 2011 and totalled the acquisition of 26 newbuilding LPG vessels. Twenty were delivered from Japanese yards and six from South Korean yards.
NASDAQ-listed StealthGas now has a fleet of 56 vessels, comprising 52 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 329,149 cu m of which three are chartered in, plus three MR product tankers and one aframax crude tanker.
Speaking with Splash today, StealthGas CEO Harry Vafias said the market fundamentals of the LPG sector point towards a decent freight rate environment for the coming two years.
“The market has improved dramatically since Q1 last year,” Vafias said, pointing out that the global orderbook for the LPG sector now stands at just eight ships, while 25% of the fleet is over 20 years of age.
“Demand continues to increase thus we expect at least two good years going forward,” a confident Vafias said.
Vafias said it was unlikely his company would be ordering any new ships soon unless a very good price came about or a specific customer needed a custom order for a specific trade.