Navigator Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:NVGS) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Apr 03, 2020 • 09:00 am ET
there are some glimmers of hope with China slowly and purposefully starting to turn to some degree of normality, with both manufacturing and demand gradually starting to recover.
As we speak, several Navigator vessels are on route to China and Southeast Asia with LPG and petrochemical cargoes. At Navigator Gas, the safety, security and welfare of all our colleagues is paramount, whether that be on land or at sea. We successfully retested our business resilience procedures last month. And following government advice, in both the U.K. and Poland, we decided on the 18th of March to temporarily close all our offices and to run our business remotely.
For just over two-and-half weeks now, we've been running our business operations remotely without disruption. I'm very pleased that all of our business continuity preparations have enabled this seamless transition. Through the use of technology, we've increased the level and frequency of our communications, West and between our onshore and fleet staff.
Of course, our shore-based activities are only part of the equation. Our seafarers continue to crew and safely operate our 30 vessels, which as we speak, are plying the seas, delivering the vital cargoes of gases to our customers across oceans and between continents, and by so doing, are keeping the global economy moving. This is no mean feat, as we, like many companies, have experienced considerable operational challenges brought on by the pandemic. On both the vessels, we have stepped up our infection protection and control precautions. We've implemented increased hygiene measures and increased both health screening and medical supplies.
Given the numerous travel restrictions, the company and our third-party managers have temporarily suspended all crew changes until it is both safe and feasible to resume them.
I would like to say thank you and pay tribute to our hardworking, dedicated and professional seafarers, who are currently separated from their families for extended periods at this difficult time. We have therefore increased the level of support and advice for all our employees to protect their overall well-being and mental health, while providing increased internet access and capacity to allow crew members to keep in contact with their loved ones.
Our teams have been working with the flag states, the classification societies, the various inspection institutions, and of course our charterers to postpone or alter mandatory dry dockings and inspections as they become due. This pragmatic approach, coupled with the additional measures ports have called and put in place, has ensured our operations continue without any major disruptions on a comparable levels to 2019.
In late December last year and early January this year, the initial phase of our Morgan's Point joint venture ethylene terminal was started up. With the first cargo of ethylene leaving on the Navigator Europa, sailed for China on the 8th of January.
Commissioning of Phase 1 is now virtually complete, with Phase 2, namely, the construction of the storage tank proceeding safely, on time and on budget. We expect the time to be operational by the