Ezra hit with $194.5 million claim over vessel charter

Emas Offshore, a subsidiary of Ezra Holdings, has received a notice of charter termination for the pipelay construction vessel Lewek Champion by Hai Jiang 1401, the vessel-owning unit of ICBC Financial Leasing Co. Ltd.

Both Emas Offshore and parent company Ezra said on Sunday that they received the notice of termination on Thursday, March 9, 2017.

Hai Jiang terminated the charter after Emas Offshore defaulted on the payment of $1.58 million payable under the charter for the Lewek Champion. Furthermore, the vessel has been detained by Huisman Equipment in Xiamen, China, since February 18.

The owner of the vessel also made a claim to Ezra, as the guarantor to the bareboat charter, and demanded a payment of the termination sum of an aggregate $194.5 million within fifteen business days from the date of the notice of termination, ending March 30.

Further reasons behind the owner’s notice of termination include Chapter 11 filings by the sub-lessee EMAS-AMC and the sub-sub-charterer of the vessel EMAS Chiyoda Subsea.

Ezra also said that Joshua James Taylor and Yit Chee Wah of FTI Consulting were appointed by Hai Jiang as the joint receivers and managers of certain assets of the charterer.

This is the largest claim against Ezra since troubles began for the company, its subsidiaries, and the 40 percent-owned associated company EMAS Chiyoda Subsea Limited.

So far, the company received two wind-up threats, first of which came from Forland Subsea for $3 million owed for the charter of the vessel Lewek Inspector. The second was from VT Halter Marine over a $3.3 million debt by Emas Chiyoda Subsea, guaranteed by Ezra.

In addition, after Emas AMC asked for a standstill agreement from Ocean Yield for the vessel Lewek Connector, Ocean Yield terminated the charter for the vessel. Later on, the duo agreed for a new Lewek Connector charter, under new terms.

Another legal issue for Ezra came up with Necotrans which in early February filed an application with the High Court of Singapore to wind up its subsidiary EMAS-AMC.

EMAS Chiyoda Subsea, together with several subsidiaries, in late February filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code while EMAS-AMC AS, its Norway-based wholly owned subsidiary, was placed under members’ voluntary liquidation in Norway.

Offshore Energy Today Staff