Photo: Image credit Golden Ocean Group Limited

Golden Ocean brings scrubber installation tally to 23

Dry bulk shipping major Golden Ocean Group Limited (GOGL) has completed all 23 installations of exhaust gas cleaning systems on board its Capesize ships.

Thirteen ships were fitted with scrubbers during the first quarter of 2020, contributing significantly to the total off-hire days.

Golden Opal; Image credit: Golden Ocean

“As of March 31, 2020, the company’s estimated remaining financial commitments in relation to the scrubber installations were $4.9 million, excluding installation costs,” the bulker owner and operator said in its report for the first quarter of the year.

“Some of the installations were delayed due to the impact of COVID-19, but all the projects have been completed as of the date of this report.”

GOGL said that during the quarter the company capitalized $16.3 million in relation to the installation of ballast water treatment systems and scrubbers on its owned vessels.

“Following the completion of committed scrubber installations, the company has very limited capital expenditure requirements for 2020 and 2021,” GOGL said, adding that this enables the company to pursue multiple paths to increase liquidity.

Additional cash might be required as the company battles with the impact of the COVID-19 on its operations and overall demand situation.

As explained, the pandemic’s impact on GOGL’s business is primarily related to challenges to perform crew changes, lockdowns and delays in ports and at shipyards.

So far the company had no confirmed cases onboard of its vessels.

“Golden Ocean’s first-quarter results come amid an extremely weak demand environment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. While freight rates have yet to display a meaningful recovery, we are optimistic that conditions will improve over the medium term as the pace of industrial activity recovers. In the meantime, we are focused on ensuring our highly competitive cost structure and preserving our strong financial profile,” Ulrik Andersen, Chief Executive Officer, said.

The dry bulk shipping company posted a net loss of $160.8 million for the first quarter of 2020, compared with net income of $41 million in Q4 2019, and Adjusted EBITDA of $12.3 million for the first quarter of 2020, a decrease of $61.6 million from the fourth quarter of 2019.

GOGL’s fleet consists of 78 vessels, with an aggregate capacity of approximately 10.8 million dwt.