Singapore’s offshore vessel operator Emas Offshore has announced that its subsidiary Lewek Champion Shipping has received a notice of termination from Hai Jiang 1401, a special purpose vehicle controlled by China’s ICBC Financial Leasing, to terminate the bareboat contract for a pipelay vessel Lewek Champion.
ICBC Financial Leasing claimed that Emas Offshore has defaulted on payment of $1.58m under the charter as part of a sale and leaseback agreement signed in February 2014. The purchase price of the vessel under the agreement was $200m.
The Lewek Champion has been detained by Huisman Equipment BV in Xiamen, China since February 18.
Emas-AMC, the sub-lessee of the vessel, has filed for bankruptcy and its parent EMAS Chiyoda Subsea also filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States on February 28.
ICBC Leasing is also pressing claims against EMAS Offshore as charterer, and Ezra Holdings as guarantor, demanding a termination payment of around $194.5m within fifteen business days.
Ezra Holdings is also facing claims from VT Halter Marine and Forland Subsea over payment defaults by Emas Chiyoda Subsea, for which it had been the guarantor.
Shares in Ezra Holdings have dropped to new lows today, down more than 7% to just 1.2 Singapore cents.