Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sloman Hera - Algoma says not better late than never

The fairly ordinary looking chemical product tanker anchored in Bedford Basin was part of a huge controversy that involved Canada's Algoma Central Corporation, two major German shipowners, a US shipowner and no less than the China Ocean Shipbuilding Industry Group Ltd.
In 2007 Algoma entered into an agreement with Jiangxi Jiangzhou Union Shipbuilding Co Ltd in China to build three product tankers. The ships were to enter the Hanseatic Shipping pool with Sloman Neptune,  Bernhard Schulte and Intrepid Shipping. The ships were of a new design and were to be the first chemical tankers built by the yard. What were termed as "excessive non-permissible delays" caused Algoma to rescind its orders in 2010 and demand return of $35.4mn paid in to the yard. The other partners opted to negotiate settlements on their cancellations and Sloman and Intrepid eventually took delivery of their tankers. As I understand it Algoma's tankers were only in very early stages of construction when cancelled, and so may not have been completed.
Algoma's case was to enter arbitration in September. Results have not been released to my knowledge.
Meanwhile the yard had built several of the tankers and Sloman Hera for example was launched August 21, 2009, but went into long term layup.
The July 1, 2012 date for new ballast tank coating regulations loomed large and Sloman Neptune were able to eventually reach a settlement and take delivery of three sister tankers in June 2012.
In the meantime Algoma walked away from the Hansa tanker pool, placing their one ship in the Navig8 pool instead. Orders for two larger tankers with another Chinese yard were converted to bulk carriers.
This is a much simplified version of all the ins and outs of the matter. It also caused financial distress for the shipyard and the other tanker owners too, and the Hansa pool was wound up.
To get back to Sloman Hera itself, it is listed as built in 2012 (altough launched in 2009) and measures 11,246 gross tons, 16,426 tonnes deadweight and has 14 cargo tanks.It is registered in Antigua and Barbuda, and is operated by Sloman Neptune of Germany.

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