Ardmore Shipping Corporation (NYSE:ASC) (“Ardmore” or the “Company”) today announced that, on January 17, 2014, it took delivery of the newbuilding Ardmore Seavantage, a 49,999 Dwt IMO 3 Eco-design MR product and chemical tanker built at SPP Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. in South Korea. Following delivery, the Ardmore Seavantage commenced operating under an existing charter arrangement with the Vitol Group.
Ardmore also announced that on January 7, 2014 it took delivery of the 2006-built Ardmore Seamariner, a 45,726 Dwt MR product tanker built at Minami Nippon Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. in Japan and acquired by the Company in October 2013. Following delivery, the vessel entered drydock, where it is being upgraded to Eco-mod in conjunction with its scheduled intermediate survey. Upon completion of the drydocking, the Ardmore Seamariner will commence a three-month time charter at a rate of $16,050 per day.
With the addition of these two vessels, Ardmore’s fleet stands at 10 ships in operation and 11 Eco-design MR product and chemical tankers on order, with the next newbuilding vessel, the Ardmore Seavanguard, scheduled to deliver from SPP in February 2014.
Ardmore also announced that it has committed the 2013-built Ardmore Seavaliant, a 49,999 Dwt Eco-Design IMO 3 MR product and chemical tanker, to a 12-month time charter commencing February 2014 at a rate of $17,100 per day, which represents an increase in time charter rates for Eco-design MR tankers of approximately $2,000 per day compared to one year ago.Additionally, in late December 2013, the Company commenced planned upgrades on the Ardmore Centurion to improve fuel efficiency and commercial capability in chemical trades. The upgrades will allow carriage of a broader range of cargos and reduce cleaning time, which will enhance the vessel's earnings potential. Following completion of the upgrade program, the Company expects that the vessel will resume operating in product and chemical trades in late January 2014. Anthony Gurnee, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer commented:
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