Greek owner Evangelos Marinakis-controlled Capital Ship Management has announced that Iraqi operator Al Iraqia Shipping Services and Oil Trading (AISSOT) has terminated long-term charters of six VLCCs with the company and redelivered the vessels, namely Atlantas, Alexander The Great, Apollonas, Atromitos, Andronikos and Agitos.
Capital Ship Management said AISSOT’s termination was a result of the owners repeatedly asking them to comply with certain protective clauses and it exercised the rights in December to both call for redelivery of the vessels and to refer the dispute to arbitration as a result of what Capital said were AISSOT’s unsatisfactory responses, whilst AISSOT continued to employ the vessels pending the outcome of the arbitration.
Capital Ship Management claimed that AISSOT chose to redeliver the vessels on February 22 under dire market conditions but the owners accepted redelivery in order to protect their rights and safeguard themselves from charterers’ failures to comply with the charter parties, while awaiting for the tribunal’s decision.
According to the company, one of the vessels Andronikos was arrested purportedly as security for unsubstantiated market related damages.
“This is a clear effort to disrupt owners’ business and owners will seek damages in return from AISSOT and the AISSOT managed fleet, as well as its shareholders,” said Capital Ship Management.
The company is currently making efforts to secure the release of the vessel.