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Petrobras cancels its charter of a DryShips PSV, bulker sales to Economou fail

DryShips’ newly acquired platform supply vessel (PSV)  Vega Crusader has had its contract cancelled by its charterer Petrobras, incurring a $2.2m loss in contracted EBITDA.

Meanwhile, low freight rates in the dry bulk shipping sector are forcing the NASDAQ-listed company to restructure its debt and possibly suspend principal repayments. A deal to take three super-capesizes into private ownership has also failed.

Vega Crusader‘s contract was due to expire on January 8, 2017, but the early termination will be effective on March 6 this year.

The ship was one of six offshore supply vessels (OSVs) acquired in October by DryShips from Nautilus OffShore Services. The PSV had been earning $21,950 per day, according to Nautilus’ website in October.

Separately, DryShips has failed to completed the sale of three super-capesize bulk carriers to a private entity controlled by its chairman and CEO George Economou. The vessels are Fakarava (206,200 dwt, built 2012), Rangiroa and Negonego (both 206,000 dwt, built 2013).

DryShips said it has reached a settlement agreement with the vessels’ charterer for an upfront lumpsum payment and the conversion of the contracts’ daily rates to index-linked timecharters.

“Mr Economou has expressed his desire to proceed with the sale of the vessels subject to the transfer of the existing loan at the current fair market value of the vessels and we are in discussions with the respective lenders to achieve this,” a statement said today.

DryShips added that depressed freight rates in dry bulk shipping market has forced the company to begin “discussions with its lenders” for the restructuring of its debt facilities, and said it may suspend principal repayments to preserve cash liquidity while the negotiations go on.


Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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