StealthGas orders again

Greece’s StealthGas has added up to six more LPG carriers to its orderbook, while tearing up deals for two Korean newbuildings.

The Nasdaq-listed company confirmed a contract first reported by TradeWinds for two 22,000-cbm vessels at Hyundai Mipo for delivery in the first quarter of 2017.

The deal comes with two options attached.

It also said it would bank a total refund of instalments paid to STX in Korea for a pair of cancelled 5,000-cbm vessels, two of four on order at the yard.

The company is replacing these ships with a 7,500-cbm eco-vessel, believed to be being built by Murakami Hide of Japan for delivery in the first quarter of 2016, plus a 7,200-cbm unit at an unnamed different Japanese yard for hand-over in the third quarter of that year.

The company told TradeWinds the cancellations were merely a commercial decision and stressed its relationship with the yard is “very solid.”

It has paid $83m in deposits for 17 LPG vessels it has on order and expects to find the remaining costs of $038m from loans and cash.

“The company has concluded negotiations with banks for firm commitments to finance 13 of these vessels for an amount up to $171m, and is in discussions with financial institutions for additional bank finance of approximately $96m for the remaining vessels, including the four newbuilding vessels whose acquisitions were announced today,” it said.

The deals bring its total assets to $1.05bn.

CEO Harry Vafias said: “We are very excited to announce the ordering of new-generation 22,000-cbm semi-refrigerated eco LPG carriers in one of the best yards in the world that will complement well our leading pressurised fleet.”