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December 14, 2009

AHL Shipping hopes tanker program can be resurrected

AHL Shipping still has hopes that it can revive its plan to build three 335,000 barrel product tankers in modules at several sites for assembly at Atlantic Marine.

The single-ship limited liability companies set up for each of the three tankers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on December 2.

AHL Shipping Company has subsequently released a statement saying that, following these filings, "construction of these state-of-the-art Jones Act tankers is in a state of suspension."

The statement notes that "the reorganization filings relate only to the three ship owning companies and have no bearing on AHL Shipping's continuing operations or our valued customers. AHL Shipping Company has not and has no plans to file for re-organization."

AHL Shipping asserts that the filings were a direct result of claimed cost overruns and delays by the primary builder in the construction phase. It says that "if not for these claimed cost overruns and delays, construction would be ongoing and the project would be continuing as planned. AHL Shipping looks forward to the limited liability companies having the opportunity to pursue these issues in court."

The statement says that AHL Shipping is "disappointed by these developments since AHL Shipping has contracts with the ship owning companies to operate and maintain these fine vessels and the American jobs they represent. We are hopeful that all the contracting groups building those ships will resurrect this important program to provide the domestic petroleum transportation industry with the first-ever tankers specifically designed for Jones Act trading."

Needless to say, Atlantic Marine doesn't see things in exactly the same light and you can read one of its filings in the bankruptcy case HERE


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