Greek owner of drybulk carriers DryShips Inc. has exercised its second option to acquire a very large gas carrier (VLGC) for a price of USD 83.5 million.
The VLGC will be employed on a fixed rate time charter with five years firm duration to an undisclosed oil major. The charterer has options to extend the firm employment period by up to three years.
Scheduled to join DryShips’ fleet in September 2017, the vessel was bought as part of a “zero cost” option agreement signed in January 2017 for the acquisition of up to four high specifications VLGCs capable of carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
The company expects the total gross backlog associated with this time charter to be USD 54 million, or USD 92.7 million including the optional periods.
Part of the purchase price of about 25% will be paid on closing, expected within March, with the balance payable in installments until the vessel’s delivery from HHI, according to DryShips.
“This second investment in the gas carrier segment marks our confidence to the expected positive long-term fundamentals of the gas market and allows us to deploy the company’s available liquidity immediately,” George Economou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said.
DryShips exercised the first option under the agreement was exercised in early January. The VLGC, scheduled to join the company’s fleet in June 2017, will also be deployed on a fixed rate time charter deal with five years firm duration with an undisclosed oil major.