Hamilton, Bermuda, January 2, 2018
We refer to recent contact with shareholders. We wish to communicate with you the first working day in 2018. Our 30 more or less identical suezmax tankers are all busy, none of them are unemployed. Currently, 15 of our one million barrel ships are carrying oil East of the Suez Canal and 15 are employed West of the Suez Canal. Our cooperation with oil companies worldwide is excellent. Together with shareholders, major oil and energy companies are our most important constituency. They are our close partners. Being fully financed, three newbuildings will be delivered to NAT in 2018. Going forward, we focus on the present and the future.
In my letter to you of December 18, 2017, (see www.nat.bm), we reviewed the major recapitalization program that NAT has undergone. This program has a scope of $600 million or more. During the first half of 2018 at the latest, when the recapitalization program is finalized, NAT will be one of the financially strongest tanker companies listed on Wall Street.
We expect that 2018 will be a better year for NAT than 2017, providing increased earnings and dividend. The last ten years the general and administrative costs of NAT have been reduced from about $1 million per ship/per year to about $400,000 per ship/per year. This about 60% reduction is fortifying our ability to compete effectively, providing a continued low cash breakeven level.
Payment of dividend will continue to be a priority. In a volatile tanker market, NAT has paid dividends for 81 consecutive quarters since 1997.
Chairman & CEO
Nordic American Tankers Limited
Nordic American Tanker Shipping Ltd., press release