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December 12, 2011

Safe Bulkers to buy one drybulk Panamax vessel

Safe Bulkers, a Greece-based provider of marine dry bulk transportation services, has entered into a shipbuilding contract with an unnamed Japanese shipbuilder to build one drybulk Panamax-class vessel.

Safe Bulkers, a Greece-based provider of marine dry bulk transportation services, has entered into a shipbuilding contract with an unnamed Japanese shipbuilder to build one drybulk Panamax-class vessel.

The company has not disclosed the value of the vessel which is expected to be delivered in the first half of 2014.

In addition to the latest newbuild, the Greek-firm said it has contracted to buy ten drybulk newbuild vessels which consist of five Panamax-Class vessels, three Kamsarmax-Class, one Post-Panamax-Class and one Capesize-Class vessels.

Safe Bulkers president Loukas Barmparis said the company’s policy is to maintain a young, modern and efficient fleet offering high quality services to its charterers.

"We are focusing on repeat orders for sister vessels which optimise our operations and this new acquisition is concluded at a relatively low point in the business cycle during which we intend to invest in new generation and fuel efficient designs," Barmparis said.

Of the five Panamax-Class vessels, one will be delivered in the first half of 2012, the second vessel in the later half of 2013 and two with delivery dates in the first half of 2014.

The three Kamsarmax-Class vessels are scheduled to be delivered in the first half of 2012, while one Post-Panamax-Class is scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2012 and one Capesize-Class vessel in the second half of 2012.

The company currently has a fleet of 18 drybulk vessels and following the delivery of the vessels, its fleet will consist of 28 vessels with combined deadweight capacity of approximately 2.6 million tons.

In July 2011, the company had planned to buy up to ten vessels in 2012 as the weak market promises cheap bargains.

The new vessels were expected to start operations by 2013, helping it cash in on the improving market where demand will outpace deliveries, leading to better freight markets.

The company said by July 2012 it will have opportunities to order more ships as prices will further drop.

The Greek-firm expects to have about $320m to buy vessels, $160m of which is being raised as debt by offering ships as collateral.

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