Tuesday, August 8,
Rising tanker rates boost
The company says increased OPEC production during the second quarter boosted VLCC and Aframax rates to levels not seen since the 1991 Gulf War. For the April through June period, time charter equivalent ("TCE'') rates for VLCCs averaged $40,000 per day, compared with $19,000 per day for the first quarter and $13,000 per day in the last quarter of 1999. Similarly, Atlantic Basin Aframax TCE rates showed continued improvement, with Caribbean - U.S. Gulf rates increasing to an average of $27,000 per day in the second quarter from average rates of $22,000 and $12,000 per day in the first quarter of 2000 and the fourth quarter of 1999, respectively.
During the second quarter, OSG's VLCC fleet continued to benefit from its participation in the new Tankers International ("TI'') pool. Established by OSG and five other leading tanker owners at the start of this year, the TI pool consists of 48 modern VLCCs.
Similarly, OSG's 20-vessel Aframax pool with PDV Marina, the marine transportation subsidiary of the Venezuelan state oil company, has a leading position in the Atlantic Basin and continues to operate at heightened efficiency levels as it supplements base Venezuelan cargoes with a number of backhauls and COAs.
OSG notes that the world tanker orderbook
increased by some 3.6 million dwt in the second quarter. The
VLCC orderbook remained at 19% of the existing fleet, while the
Aframax orderbook increased from 7% to 9% of the existing fleet.
As a practical matter, few newbuilding berths can now be secured
for delivery prior to 2003. At the same time, increasing demand
among charterers for modern, double-hulled vessels continues
in the aftermath of the disastrous oil spill off the coast of
France in December 1999. While strong tanker rates caused scrapping
to fall off in the second quarter from the strong pace earlier
in the year, the age profile of the world tanker fleet (and in
particular VLCCs) and the strong environmental and regulatory
concerns associated with older tonnage should result in an increase
in scrapping. There are 98 VLCCs totaling 30.4 million dwt (representing
24.5% of the fleet), which turn 25 years old in 2000 to 2002,
and face ever decreasing trading opportunities and extended waiting
time for cargoes.
Pacific Carriers makes $5.6 million on
This fills out some gaps in an announcement by OMI Corporation on July 31 that it had agreed to acquire from "another shipowner" two 47,000 dwt product carriers currently under construction at Japan's Onimichi Dockyard. OMI said that following delivery in September and late November, the vessels will commence two year time charters to an oil company.
OMI is selling the last of its Polish built vessels, Tiber, a 29,996 dwt product carrier built in 1989,
Chairman, CEO and president Craig H. Stevenson, Jr.commented "We are pleased to be able to continue upgrading our fleet. The addition of these two new double-hulled product carriers reflects our belief that modern product tankers will be a strong and profitable market in coming years. Cash flows for the next two years are secured with profitable time charters. The acquisition was made using the sale of an older vessel, internal cash flow and bank financing, demonstrating the company's stronger financial position.''
OMI will book a loss of approximately $1.5
million in the third quarter in connection with the sale of the
H&W might still build Tikoo's giant
Now, reports the Irish News, after 10 years in the Bahamas, Tikoo has returned to the U.K .determined to get the project up and running again. He says it has a better chance of succeeding this time and could create thousands of jobs at the shipyard.
The attitude of government and the ability to raise the huge sums necessary to finance the $600 million cruise ship have changed dramatically in the last 12 years, he said.
Speaking to the Irish News last night, Taco said: "We are talking to Harland and Wolff and we have declared our firm intent that we wish to build our ship with them."
Tikoo said he was confident the ship would be built but it had to be in Belfast. "Harland and Wolff designed the Ultimate Dream. No other shipyard is going to undertake a ship that has been designed by another yard," he told the newspaper/
If everything goes to plan he said building on the ship could start within 18 months with delivery in 2003 or 2004.
A spokesman for Harland and Wolff confirmed it has been approached by Tikoo. He said the shipyard would look at all opportunities for work but added that the Ultimate Dream was a long-term prospect.
At 160,000 gt, the Ultimate Dream would still be the world's largest cruise ship. Unless, that is, the World City project gets off the ground. Sitting in the Marad Title XI in tray is an application for $1.3 billion in loan guarantees to build the 6,200 passenger ship. Current plans are for hull modules to be built by the Halter Marine Group, then assembled at Aker Gulf Marine's Ingleside, Texas, facility.