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BLT financial woes deepen as US court action launched by lessor

BLT financial woes deepen as US court action launched by lessor
New York: Berlian Laju Tankers (BLT) financial woes continue to grow as Marshall Island’s incorporated lessor Lantern Maritime Co launches court action over unpaid charter hire.

Lantern Maritime filed a Rule B attachment in the New York courts for damages of $55.1m against BLT subsidiary Universal Grace for the chemical tanker Wilutama on which the Indonesian owner had a five-year sale and leaseback deal. Lantern purchased the tanker in November 2010 from BLT simultaneously chartering it back to the shipowner for five years at $18,900 a day. BLT defaulted on lease payments of $585,900 on 3 January this year and $548,100 on 1 February.

BLT announced a debt standstill last month and cease paying principal loan repayments and lease hire. Singapore lessor FSL Trust is seeking the return of three chemical tankers after BLT defaulted on its February charter hire payments.

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