ATHENS, GREECE -- (Marketwired) -- 07/11/13 -- Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (the "Company" or "Star Bulk") (NASDAQ: SBLK), today announced that on July 5, 2013 the Company has entered into agreements with Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. shipyard for the construction of two 180,000 DWT eco-type, fuel efficient Capesize drybulk vessels to be delivered in Q4 2015 and Q1 2016, respectively. In addition, the Company has entered into letters of intent, which are subject to the negotiation and execution of definitive documentation, with a major Japanese shipyard for the construction of two 60,000 DWT eco-type, fuel efficient Ultramax drybulk vessels to be delivered within 2015. The aggregate purchase price of the four newbuilding vessels is approximately $151.0 million.
The Company also announced that it received a letter from the receivers of STX Pan Ocean Co. Ltd., or STX, terminating the charter agreement for the vessel, Star Borealis, effective immediately. Currently, STX owes the Company approximately USD $653,000. The Company intends to vigorously pursue all amounts owed to it under the charter agreement, including any related damages caused by the termination of the charterparty, under the STX rehabilitation proceedings, which have commenced in Korea. Under the STX charter, this vessel earned a daily net time charter rate of USD $24,255. The Company has re-employed the vessel on a voyage charter at a daily time charter equivalent of approximately USD $27,000.
Additionally, the Company announced that it has chartered two of its Supramax vessels with major international companies; the Star Gamma is chartered for approximately one year at a gross daily time charter rate of USD $9,400 and the Star Omicron is chartered for minimum three months up to a maximum of five months at a gross daily time charter rate of USD $10,750.
About Star Bulk
Star Bulk is a global shipping company providing worldwide seaborne transportation solutions in the dry bulk sector. Star Bulk's vessels transport major bulks, which include iron ore, coal and grain and minor bulks which include bauxite, fertilizers and steel products. Star Bulk was incorporated in the Marshall Islands on December 13, 2006 and maintains executive offices in Athens, Greece. Its common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "SBLK". Currently, Star Bulk has an operating fleet of thirteen dry bulk carriers. The total fleet consists of five Capesize and eight Supramax dry bulk vessels with a combined cargo carrying capacity of 1,290,602 deadweight tons. The average age of our current operating fleet is approximately 10.5 years. Additionally, we have four third-party dry bulk vessels under our management, consisting of one Capesize vessel, two Supramax vessels and one Panamax vessel and we have been sub-contracted for certain management services, including crewing, purchasing and insurances, for six product tankers. The total combined cargo carrying capacity of these vessels amounts to 634,729 deadweight tons.
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