Greek owner of drybulk carriers DryShips Inc. has decided to re-enter the tanker shipping market as it agreed to purchase an Aframax tanker and a very large crude carrier (VLCC).
Bought for a total gross price of about USD 102.5 million, the two vessels are set to join DryShips’ fleet in the second quarter of 2017 and be employed in the spot market.
The 113,644 dwt Aframax is currently being constructed in South Korea, while the second ship under the purchase deal is the 320,105 dwt VLCC, built in 2011.
“We are very excited to have re-entered the tanker market by acquiring a modern Aframax tanker of ecodesign and one very large crude carrier at historical low prices. We continue to look at opportunities to diversify and grow our fleet with high quality tonnage and significant operating leverage,” George Economou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said.
In March and June 2015, DryShips entered into two separate agreements with entities controlled by Economou to sell its fleet of four Suezmax tankers and six Aframax tankers, thereby exiting the tanker market.
The Suezmaxes were sold for an en-bloc sales price of USD 245 million, while the Aframaxes fetched an en-bloc sales price of USD 291 million.
In early February 2017, the company released its full year results reporting that its 2016 net loss shrunk to USD 198.6 million from a net loss of USD 2.8 billion seen in 2015.
The firm’s net loss for the quarter ended December 31, 2016 stood at USD 77.5 million, against a loss of USD 527.6 million recorded in the corresponding period in 2015.
Following the end of 2016, DryShips entered into a “zero cost” option agreement to purchase up to four high specifications very large gas carriers (VLGCs) capable of carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
The company subsequently exercised the first option to buy one VLGC from the batch, currently under construction at South Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), for a price of USD 83.5 million.
DryShips owns a fleet of 13 Panamax drybulk carriers with a combined deadweight tonnage of approximately 1 million tons, 1 very large gas carrier (VLGC) newbuilding and 6 offshore supply vessels.