Two former ships of Pianura on auction
The Italian owner had recently cancelled the charters for two gas carriers arrested and put on sale in Gibraltar
By the end of the week gas carriers Sapphire Star (6,000 cbm, built in 1991) and Emerald Star (7,000 cbm, built in 1992) will be auctioned in Gibraltar, where they were arrested some weeks ago upon request by some banks.
Both ships had been sold in 2008 by Mestre (Venice)-based Pianura Armatori to LPG Ships 1 AS (a Norwegian company controlled by the financial group DnB Nor), together with 3,000 cbm, 1991-built Diamond Star and 3,000 cbm, 1990-built Ruby Star, for about 70 million dollars (S2S n. 34/2008) and then bareboat chartered back for 7 years.
The Italian company denied to be involved in what is happening. “We cancelled the agreement, so we’re in no way related with the decisions and deeds of the owner” pointed out Pianura Armatori’s head Salvatore Pianura.
As Ruby Star is still under arrest in Rijeka, Croatia, because of a litigation with some crewmen (S2S n. 40/2010), Pianura explained. “Major energy companies are getting increasingly fussy about older ships, even when they’re in excellent conditions, so we’re trying to get rid of them. In any case, if the market will strengthen its recovery, we’ll take steps in order to re-establish a young, up-to-date and well-managed fleet.”
A spokesman of LPG Ships 1 AS gave a short answer: "We are informed about the auction but our company's policy prevents us to comment on relationships with customers." LPG Ships 1 AS is chaired by Synne Syrrist, a lady who is also member of the board in several companies linked with DnB Nor, while the bank ranks at the top of the ones more dynamic in the shipping world".