Petros Pappas, Chief Executive Officer of Star Bulk commented that by the end of May 2019, the company awaits of 40 vessels scrubber fitted.
We expect to have a fully scrubber fitted fleet by January 2020. Because we expect 2020 to be a more profitable year, we want to maximize the operating days in 2020 and we thus bring forward to 2019 all our drydocks that would otherwise be due in 2020.
He continued that the shipping company expects to undergo 52 drydocks during this year mostly concurrent with scrubber installations which, in combination with 50 at sea installations, will reduce as much as possible our off hire time during 2019.
According to the company's financial report, the average TCE for the quarter (including realized freight and bunker hedging,) was $11,192/day per vessel with 96.5% fleet utilization, and average daily Opex and Net Cash G&A expenses per vessel, at $4,015/day and $971/day respectively.
As of today, we have fixed a minimum of 76% of our Q2 2019 days at average TCE rates of $10,006 per day.
Moreover, the company informed that over the past nine months they have agreed to refinance about USD 1.04 billion creating savings of about 10 million per year in interest expense, or USD 250 per vessel day.
Star Bulk has also drawn USD 22.4 million of scrubber financing with another USD 112.2 million in place to be drawn later in the year.
The voyage revenues in Q1 of 2019 experienced an increase to USD 166.5 million, in comparison to 2018's Q1 121.1 million.
Concluding, Mr Pappas added
We continue being busy on the financing front, having drawn and agreed to refinance approximately USD 329 million of debt since the beginning of the year, reducing our average margin in these facilities by 217bps.