Stolt-Nielsen S.A. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Stolt Tankers B.V. received a full refund of $84.5 million plus accrued interest, as part of an early termination agreement with SLS Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. (SLS) of South Korea to cancel newbuilding contracts for two 43,000 dwt stainless steel parcel tankers. The refund was for progress payments made by Stolt Tankers on the two ships, which were ordered in 2006 as part of a series of eight parcel tankers to be built by SLS. Due to extensive delays at the yard it was unlikely that these ships would have been delivered within the terms of the shipbuilding contracts. All of the eight ships ordered by Stolt Tankers from SLS are covered by refund guarantees and the Company similarly expects to receive full refunds for the six remaining ships in the series. Stolt Tankers made a total of $296 million in progress payments to SLS towards the eight ships.
The refund will be used by the company to repay loans taken to fund the newbuildings and for general corporate purposes.