NEW YORK (Reuters) – General Maritime Corp announced yesterday it would sell nine OBO aframax tankers to Tanker Pacific for $247.5 million to fund its paying down of debt and other corporate purposes. Deliveries of the nine vessels are expected to be concluded by June 2006. The company, which will realize a net gain of $16.6 million from the sale, also said it planned to close its technical office in Piraeus, operated by General Maritime Management (Hellas) Ltd. General Maritime will maintain its commercial office in London, operated by General Maritime Management (UK) LLC and its technical office in Lisbon, operated by General Maritime Management (Portugal) Lda. The company will also retain its commercial and technical office in New York, General Maritime Management LLC. «With the sale of these nine vessels, we have disposed of non-core assets. We are pleased to have sold these vessels at a compelling price and have realized a profit while further modernizing our fleet,» said General Maritime Chairman and CEO Peter Georgiopoulos. Following the completion of the nine-vessel sale, General Maritime Corporation will own and operate a fleet of 21 tankers – 10 aframax, seven suezmax tankers and four suezmax newbuilding contracts – with a carrying capacity of approximately 2.7 million dwt.