We believe that future growth will be achieved not only by increasing market share in current locations but also by expanding operations to other locations. As part of our strategy, we intend to:
Expand the Global Reach of our Business and our Fleet - We intend to capitalize on our ability to effectively manage bunkering operations in multiple locations and expand the global reach of our business and our fleet. We plan to expand the global reach of our business through opening new service centers in selected locations around the world during the next several years. We also intend to expand our bunkering tanker fleet through timely and selective acquisitions of bunkering tankers. We intend to acquire only high quality, double hull bunkering tankers that meet new rigorous industry standards and to preserve the quality of our vessels by emphasizing ongoing maintenance programs.
Maintain and Leverage Relationships with our Customers - We intend to maintain strong relationships with our customers by providing high quality products, reliable service and innovative solutions to meet their needs. As we continue to expand into new markets, we plan to leverage our current relationships with customers to capture their business in new service locations.
Capitalize on Phase-Out of Single Hull Bunkering Tankers - Given the expected ban of a significant portion of single hull bunkering tankers by 2008, we believe that the number of bunkering tankers worldwide will decline significantly. As we expect to grow our double hull bunkering tanker fleet by early 2010, we plan to leverage our modern high-quality vessels to fill a portion of the market currently serviced by single hull vessels. Given the fragmentation of the marine fuel delivery market, we believe that the expanded size of our fleet of double hull bunkering tankers and presence in multiple markets will further enhance our leading industry position.
Use our Increased Equity Capitalization to Accelerate Growth and Improve Profitability - We believe that our increased equity capitalization following the completion of our IPO in December of 2006 allows us to:
- Grow fuel sales volumes
- Purchase fuel on favorable terms
Suppliers of refined marine petroleum products from which we purchase fuel generally require us to provide standby letters of credit and pay on strict terms. As a result, capital limitations have historically constrained our growth. We believe that our increased equity capitalization allows us to fund the working capital that we need to service unfulfilled demand for our services and future growth. We also believe that proceeds from our IPO will increase our ability to pay cash for marine fuel when we deem it appropriate and thus obtain discounts generally available to cash purchasers. As our business expands, we intend to seek more favorable terms from suppliers through volume discounts or long- term supply arrangements.
Provide Innovative Solutions - Our management continues to seek innovative solutions to existing and future energy needs. For example, access to gasoline and other refined petroleum products is costly and may from time to time be subject to restrictions or disruptions in many island economies, including the Greek Islands. In response, we have designed and plan to operate a fleet of specialty tankers with roll-on roll-off facilities and refueling capabilities for fuel trucks intended to make distribution of gasoline and other refined petroleum products in island areas more cost effective and environmentally friendly. We entered into newbuilding contracts for the construction of two of these specialty tankers and have an option to build four additional specialty tankers.