Court puts second Trinity tanker under the hammer

Namibia auction followed by Dutch administration sale ordered in $13.5m case

A second tanker managed by Greece’s Trinity Ships is heading towards judicial sale after creditors arrested it in the Netherlands.

The first Trinity ship to go under the hammer was the 35,700-dwt product tanker Huascar (built 1992). As TradeWinds reported this week, the vessel was auctioned in Namibia, fetching $2.8m, plus $200,000 for bunkers. Its new owner is Panama-based Peninsula Maritime.

A court in Rotterdam has now put a second vessel managed by Trinity up for judicial sale — the Dalian-built, 34,700-dwt product tanker Sea Pioneer (built 2007). An auction is set for 12 March, according to a public notice issued by the Dutch authorities.

Legal documents show the Huascar and Sea Pioneer were arrested by the same creditor — an entity called GMTC I LLC, based in Wilton, Connecticut. TradeWinds understands this is Global Marine Transport Capital (GMTC), an alternative shipping finance firm backed by New York-based Four Wood Marine Advisors.

The size of the claim on the Huascar has not been disclosed. The Sea Pioneer, however, has been arrested as part of efforts to recover almost $13.5m from the owner, Bondi Ship Holding SA, a Marshall Islands-based entity.

A senior GMTC manager was not available for comment. Managers at Trinity, which is led by John and Panos Harbis, did not respond to a request for comment by TradeWinds' press time.

Dutch press reports last month cited Trinity as saying it was operating the ship on behalf of a US-based fund. The case of the Sea Pioneer attracted media attention in the Netherlands because its 18 Pakistani and Filipino crew members were stuck onboard for at least five weeks after the ship was arrested at Amsterdam port in early December.

Aswin Noordermeer, an inspector at the International Transport Workers' Federation, called the situation onboard “frankly inhumane”, according to a report by Dutch newspaper Het Parool. Noordermeer was unavailable to elaborate on whether the crew situation had been resolved.

A sale of the Sea Pioneer would leave Trinity as manager of just two vessels — the 17,800-dwt product and chemical tanker Eliana (built 2014) and the 6,600-dwt oil barge Ntugbu 1 (built 2007). Both ships are registered to a Nigerian owner, and vessel trackers show them trading in Nigerian waters. Trinity’s biggest tanker, the 44,600-dwt Palenque I (built 1992), was sold for scrap late last year.

Trinity operates out of the same address as Trustoil Tankers, a Greek operator that went out business in the summer of 2014.