Hamilton, Bermuda - June 26, 2018
To shareholders and investors,
NAT has gone through a very active period.
Earlier in June we informed you that we had sold five vessels of 20 years or more, reducing the average age of the NAT vessels significantly; to about 10 years.
Following further analysis, NAT recently cancelled the suggested bond issue. We came to the conclusion that it is not in the best interest of shareholders to go for such an arrangement.
Thirdly, we achieved a contract for one of our Suezmax new buildings (August 2018 delivery) from Samsung in South Korea. We entered into a firm contract with a major international oil and energy company for a minimum period of 3 years. The contract has a startup this autumn and could run for five years if two one year options are exercised. Rates are between $21,000 per day and $25,000.
In this message of today, June 26, we would like to inform you that we have sold three more Suezmax tankers built in 1997, bringing the total number of vessels sold over the recent past to eight. These transactions will bring a cashflow close to $80 million.
The actions described above show that we have the ability to move swiftly, showing the flexibility inherent in NAT.
As in the past, our policy is to grow the company. Before selling eight vessels, we had 33 vessels in NAT. In a year, two or three, we expect that the number of NAT ships may be much higher than 33.
Growth is necessary to retain the dynamics and to provide a basis for a continued friendly dividend policy. NAT has low net debt per ship. A best in class balance sheet is an important NAT feature.
NAT is in a solid position, providing the basis for a strong performance going forward, based on its conservative business model. There is renewed optimism in the tanker business.
Nordic American Tanker Shipping Ltd., press release