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Eitzen Chemical secures bank loans

EITZEN Chemical, the Oslo-listed specialist tanker owner has confirmed that all three of its bank syndicates have agreed new loan agreement, writes Craig Eason. The company, which recorded a net loss for 2008 of $192.4m, had reported a breach of a covenant at the end of last year, but said the new agreement, which gives a higher net debt to Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) ratio through 2010, has allowed it to rectify the breach. The new margin will be 2.7% per annum. The company, which has a fleet of 95 vessels, of which 69 are owned, has also announced it has taken delivery of the 46,300 dwt combined chemical and oil tanker Siteam Leader. The epoxy and zinc coated vessel, built in Croatia, will be operated by the company’s Team Tanker pool. This is the third vessel the company has taken delivery of this year, having already taken the 8,115 dwt Sichem Lily and the 25,419 dwt Sichem Falcon. It has a further nine vessels on order. Eitzen Chemical announced last month that the remaining payment of five of these, under construction in Japan, will be deferred until final delivery of the vessels. It has also sold three vessels during the first quarter; the 1985-built Sichem Etilico, the 1982-built Siteam Mars and the 1994-built Sichem Malaga.

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