Solstad halts ship sale

Published Jan 12, 2009
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Solstad Offshore Normand Skarven
courtesy Solstad Offshore

Government help financing the sale of offshore service ships hasn’t prevented Solstad Offshore from having to break a contract with the international buyer of anchor-handling tug supply ship Normand Skarven.

An agreement had been in place and the unnamed buyer had paid a 10 percent deposite on the sale. But Solstad said Monday the buyer “had not complied with its further payment obligations” so the deal was off.

A Solstad source told that he couldn’t say why the unnamed company hadn’t stuck to the payment schedule.

“We can’t speculate on that,” he said.

It is understood now, that only Norwegian yards — which organize newbuild financing — and not shipownersare are elligible for export credits from a recently announced billion-dollar government “aid package” to ensure clients of Norwegian yards scrape together enough credit.

Solstad, meanwhile, owns 72 percent of ship owner Normand Skarven KS — a company named after the vessel, a business pattern that localizes risk. The ship is still under contract with StatoilHydro until February 2009.

Solstad, meanwhile, is still ordering ships, but orders seem focused on the offshore construction type. As recently as the close of 2008, Norwegian yard interests in the Bergen Group won a contract to build a large diving and offshore construction service vessel worth NOK 720 million ($102 million). The fuel-efficient vessel is designed by Skipsteknisk of Ålesund and will be built in Poland before being fitted out at the Bergen yard.

Solstad is a key supplier of offshore construction ships with nine in operation and six being built.

Tags: Solstad Offshore


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