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StealthGas CEO Discusses Q1 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

About half of the LPG produced is used directly by consumers and the other half by the petrochemical industry. And to close this business review, I'd just like to add that LPG used to help protect the environment since it's lower carbon content and the fact that it burns much cleaner than petro can reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Moving to slide number three, to review how we’re implementing our business strategy. As previously announced our medium-term goal is to renew our fleet with the delivery of five-year building gas ships. In February, we took delivery of the first vessel to Gas Elixir. For the remainder of the first quarter, we did not engage in any other S&P activity.

Then at the end of April, we took delivery of the second new building Gas Exelero and various regulatory to show for our older vessels in our existing fleet. We wish to maintain a strong focus on our operational side and that's the reason behind the sale of these four older vessels. We believe that removing them from fleet and replacing them with brand new larger and higher specification vessels will improve the overall performance of the company going forward.

As far as our new building program is concerned, we have three more vessels to take delivery of. One is scheduled for July this year; second was scheduled for the end of November, but we moved the delivery by one month to January 2012 in order for the vessel to be classed as a 2012 build instead of 2011 build. And the last one is scheduled to be delivered in May 2012.

After taking the consideration, the total fleet of 39 ships at the end of the first quarter 2011, our net debt-to-capitalization ratio stood at 45.6% similar to the previous quarter, and taking in consideration the scheduled vessel deliveries, we still will continue to have a moderation of below mid 50s by the end of the year.

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