Tuesday, November 25, 2008
By Nigel Lowry - Monday 24 November 2008
Metrostar has another eight handysizes on order at fellow South Korean yard SPP Shipbuilding
GREECE’s Metrostar Management has cancelled 10 of its series of handysize bulker newbuildings at Jinse Shipbuilding, writes Nigel Lowry.
A source close to the Theodore Angelopoulos controlled group said axing the orders was relatively “easy” as the nascent South Korean builder had rolled back deadlines for producing refund guarantees for the vessels several times.
According to the Greek side, Jinse had obtained guarantees covering the first six ships in the programme, initially for 16 vessels of 32,000 dwt.
Metrostar is understood to have been – together with Arne Blystad – one of the first groups to order bulkers at Jinse, but appears to have fallen behind in the queue for refund guarantees after the yard expanded with a second building dock and signed up further owners.
Of the six surviving vessels, the first two – thought to be due at the end of this year – have already been sold on to Turkish dry bulk operator Marvel International Management & Transportation.
Metrostar appears still ready to accept the remaining quartet, with deliveries scheduled from mid-2009 onwards, but the yard has already featured in reports of Korean builders that may struggle to deliver all their contracted tonnage.
At the same time, Metrostar has another eight handysizes on order at fellow South Korean yard SPP Shipbuilding.
These are described as being “on track” with deliveries due to range between May next year and January 2010.
The Jinse cancellations were first mentioned in a list of rumoured order scrappings that circulated earlier this month. This purported to pinpoint more than 160 bulker newbuilding orders that had already been axed, although few of these were in the handysize sector.
Metrostar will shortly start to take delivery of a new tanker programme, starting with the first of seven suezmaxes from Hyundai Samho and later, two VLCCs, from Hyundai Heavy Industries.
Its only other dry bulk newbuildings had been a series of capesizes that were wrapped up last year in a $1.1bn sale of nine capesizes to Peter Georgiopoulos-led Genco Shipping & Trading.
Four of these remain to be handed over from Sungdong Heavy Industries, starting with the 170,500 dwt Genco Hadrian before the end of this year.
The ship has been chartered to Cargill International for a period of 46 to 62 months at $65,000 daily.
Despite the fact many capesize deals have collapsed or are being revisited, a Metrostar source told Lloyd’s List yesterday that the agreement with Genco was proceeding as envisaged.
As adapted from Lloyd's List