Star Bulk adds three more ECO Kamsarmaxes

Athens-based dry bulk shipping firm Star Bulk Carriers has brought its newbuilding tally of ECO Kamsarmax to five after revealing that it has contracted Qingdao Shipyard Co. for three more 82,000 dwt newbuilding vessels.

Star Bulk CEO, Petros Pappas; Image credit: CapitalLink

Namely, in November 2023 Star Bulk revealed it had ordered two high-specification Kamsarmaxes, fitted with fuel-efficient engines, shaft generators as well as alternate marine power solutions that will reduce the vessels’ energy requirements.

The contracts included two options that were lifted now and a separate contract for a newbuild featuring the same specifications.

Two ships from the tally are slated for delivery in 2025 followed by three more in 2026.

The fleet renewal investments are being pursued as part of the company’s preparations for more stringent environmental regulations.

“We continue to prepare for more stringent environmental regulations by investing in renewing our fleet, having increased the size of our newbuilding order from two to five latest generation, high specification Eco Kamsarmaxes delivering in 2025- 2026. In addition, we have started taking delivery of our long-term Charter-in Eco tonnage, currently operating two vessels out of the six that we expect to be delivered during 2024,” Petros Pappas, CEO of Star Bulk said.

“Outlook for the dry bulk market remains positive due to favorable supply dynamics, geopolitically driven inefficiencies in trade and a recovery of demand supported by large global infrastructure investment needs for the world’s green transition. Star Bulk expects to take advantage of the recent strength in the dry bulk market having mostly maintained its diverse scrubber fitted fleet in the spot market and thus continue to create value for its shareholders.”

In Q4 2023, Star Bulk reported a net income of $39.7 million, down from $85.8 million in Q4 2022. Adjusted net income was $63.5 million, and net cash provided by operating activities was $85.8 million.

Meanwhile, in January 2024, the Greek bulker major welcomed into the fleet the newbuilding vessels Star Voyager and Stargazer, a Kamsarmax vessel built in Tsuneishi- Zhousan and an Ultramax vessel built in Tsuneishi- Cebu. Each vessel is subject to a seven-year charter-in arrangement revealed previously.

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As part of its fleet rejuvenation efforts the shipping company has been selling its older less-efficient tonnage, offloading a total of nine vessels since November 2023.

During the first half of 2024, Star Bulk expects to collect $112.0 million from vessel sales.

Commenting on the ongoing merger with Eagle Bulk, Pappas said that the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2024.

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Together with the newbuilds on order, Star Bulk operates a fleet of 115 vessels, with an aggregate capacity of 12.9 million dwt.