[QUOTE=anchorman;44313]Another bit of News I found surprising
[B]Shipowners team up on AHL tanker[/B]
US owners Gary Chouest and Charles Fabrikant are said to be behind a bid to purchase a 90%-built products tanker.
Two unfinished vessels in the failed three-ship newbuilding programme of AHL Shipping are set to be sold for $12.25m while the third, nearly completed 49,000-dwt products tanker may find a buyer after all.
A surprising team of US shipowners Gary Chouest and Charles Fabrikant is said to be behind one bid to buy and operate one US-flag tanker left over from the innovative but doomed project.
The unconfirmed reports of a Chouest and Fabrikant tie-up come after a US bankruptcy judge approved an offer to buy the makings of two more tanker newbuildings for the surprisingly high price of $12.25m — significantly better than scrap, although both projects are in pieces. The bid is from a group including machinery and equipment liquidator Hilco Industrial.
New Jersey-based brokerage Compass Maritime is handling the sale on behalf of AHL’s bankruptcy trustee. Bidding is still open through the end of this week. The New Orleans bankruptcy court will hold a hearing on 23 November and auction the vessel if competition emerges.
Compass broker Evan Sproviero says he also expects imminent new developments in Compass’s efforts to sell the nearly complete ship. But Sproviero declines to reveal anything about the possible buyers.
Other sources point to Connecticut-based Nickel Van Reesema, reorganised New Jersey-based tanker owner US Shipping Corp and the cash-rich team of private offshore shipowner Chouest and New York-listed Seacor.
The multi-yard AHL-Shell programme to build tankers in modular segments and assemble them at Mobile’s Atlantic Marine Alabama shipyard was halted by the bankruptcy of three shipowning subsidiaries in November 2009 after delays and overruns.
AHL Shipping’s trading tanker fleet threw in the cards as well in April of this year.
TradeWinds understands that oil major Shell, the biggest creditor with at least $368m sunk in the project, has offered a long-term time charter to whoever buys and completes the ship. The charter would have a duration of up to seven years at a rate of $42,000 per day with increases.
Shipowners involved are said to be more or less ignoring the Shell offer, which is not very generous by the standards of the expensive Jones Act trades and would moreover require the winner to buy the uncompleted ship from the bankruptcy trustee for at least $30m — cutting its embarrassing losses somewhat.
But a price of around $17m or $18m for the 90% complete tanker is said to be on the high end of realistic expectations and some observers go much lower to around $10m — in part because buyers are unsure how much of that 90% will have to be redone because of hidden technical flaws.
Fabrikant’s interest in the stranded tonnage is an about-face.
Fabrikant’s Seacor, among other US tanker owners, was a harsh critic of AHL’s expansion of the overtonnaged Jones Act market.
More surprising is the involvement of Chouest, the private owner of major offshore company Edison Chouest, a dynamic player in its field but not until now involved in Jones Act tankers — unlike Seacor with its legacy fleet of Seabulk tankers alongside its offshore and tug fleets.
Observers point to some interesting complementarities. Chouest is very close to Shell, operating with near exclusivity for the oil major in the US Gulf workboat market. Also, Chouest has its own large yard, the former Bender yard at Tampa, and could take over the completion from Atlantic Marine.
Others add that taking on Chouest as an equity partner, rather than merely contracting the completion to his Tampa yard as some had expected, could give Seacor more confidence in the deal.[/QUOTE]
I wonder, could this have anything to do with the “Seacor Hub”? This video is on the homepage of Seacor Marine’s website: http://seacormarine.com/video/kelly_hub/index.html