Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Why is Beluga Projects at Station Pier day after day?

I have been puzzled by the presence of Beluga Projects at Station Pier and asked people who knows about shipping if they could tell me more. And they did: 'Beluga Fantastic is a general cargo ship flagged in Antigua and Barbuda and built at Jiangdong in '07. At Yarraville 11 to 15 March discharging 11,000 mt of sugar from Mackay for CSR. She is owned, operated and managed by Beluga Shippping of Germany and this is a one off voyage for CSR. After completion of discharge she was arrested.' [taken from World Ship Society, Victorian Branch, April newsletter] And why? "German project carrier Beluga today filed for insolvency protection for its core operating division Beluga Chartering after talks with its tonnage providers and banks failed. More than 40 multipurpose and box ships have been withdrawn ... The companies lost patience with Beluga's investor Oaktree Captial Management - which seized control of the project shipping group at the end of Febuary. The US investor had called for far reaching concessions on charter arrears and period rates. For the insolvency of its operating unit, Beluga/Oaktree blamed "substantial irregularities concerning turnover and liquidity." The investor, which is believed to have put up to 175M Euros in debt and equity into Beluga since the middle of last year ...., filed charges against Beluga founder Niels Stolberg and other top management. The prosecution service in Brmeen is investigating allegations of fraud and false statements. Beluga's survival as an operator in the project/heavy-lift trades is in serious doubt, although any formal decision to abandon the bsiness is now up to an administrator who has not been named yet. Oaktree and other stakeholders are still in talks over continuing other business divisions, which would also include ship management. Reproduced courtesy Lloyds Fairplay 17 March 2011 http://www.fairplay.co.uk

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