Dry bulk and tanker shipping firm DryShips Inc – which recently acquired global tanker pool operator Heidmar Inc – has reported a net loss of US$12.7M for its second quarter 2019 as it works to upgrade its fleet.

“Further to the company’s plan to future-proof its fleet, we have completed the dry docking, installation of ballast water treatment systems and scrubbers on seven vessels, incurring approximately US$26.1M of total costs and 300 off-hire days,” the company reported on 17 September.
Scrubbers are used to remove harmful emissions from ship exhaust engines, with new International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules capping sulphur dioxide emissions coming into force on 1 January 2020.

DryShips said that for the rest of 2019 and 2020, the firm would continue to upgrade additional vessels, incurring some 843 off-hire days for a total estimated cost of US$65.8M.

DryShips – founded in 2004 by Greek billionaire shipowner George Economou – owns and operates a fleet of 32 dry bulk, tanker and offshore support vessels. The fleet comprises nine Newcastlemax, five Kamsarmax and six Panamax dry bulk vessels; two Suzemax and three Aframax tankers; one very large crude carrier; and six offshore support vessels.

In June, the company completed its acquisition of global tanker pool operator Heidmar Inc. Before the deal, DryShips had indirectly owned some 49.8% of Heidmar.

In August, SPII Holdings Inc – a company controlled by Economou, who is DryShips’ CEO – agreed to buy all outstanding shares of DryShips.

The deal is expected to close in fourth quarter 2019.