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Havila cancels 10-year newbuilding charter

HAVILA Shipping has cancelled the 10-year charter of its newbuilding subsea construction vessel, Havila Phoenix, to US contractor Phoenix International because of failed payments. The Norwegian shipowner sent a letter to Louisiana-based Phoenix requesting mobilisation payments and bank guarantees after the ship was delivered last week from Havyard Leirvik yard in Norway. Phoenix had planned to use the ship in the US to boost its position in the Gulf of Mexico oil industry and vessel recovery market. Havila wanted to see a guarantee from banks that would cover the first six months of charter payments for the Havyard 858-design Havila Phoenix. The US company rejected Havila’s notice for the mobilisation fee and the bank guarantee, so Havila cancelled the charter contract. The Oslo-listed owner said it was seeking other employment opportunities for the subsea construction ship. Phoenix provides marine services in subsea construction support, underwater welding repair, diving operations, ocean search and recovery. It works for oil companies and the US government, including the US Coast Guard. In August 2007, Phoenix signed a 10-year contract for Havila Phoenix and the ship was then expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2008. Yesterday, Havila gained a contract extension from French oil firm Total for its 2008-built Havila Neptune anchor handler for another eight months. The NKr62m ($9m) deal will keep the ship operating offshore Libya into 2010.

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