A handysize product tanker owned by bankrupt Singaporean fuel trader and tanker operator Coastal Oil has yet again failed to find a buyer at auction.
The deep divide between price expectations of the High Court of Singapore and potential buyers of the arrested 24,200-dwt Babylon (built 2017) continued at a second auction held late last week.
Officials at the Sheriff of Singapore’s office who ran the sealed-bid sale told TradeWinds this week they received a fair number of offers for the vessel, but none had been close to the minimum reserve price set by the court.
The reserve price is kept secret before an auction.
Judge to decide fate
The matter will now revert to the judge handling the arrest case, who can either accept the highest offer received or schedule another auction.
The Babylon, together with sistership Atalanta (built 2015), was seized in January by Singapore’s DBS Bank against mortgage claims of about $18m.
The arrests took place shortly after owner Coastal Oil filed for voluntary liquidation.
Both ships were put up for auction in April but failed to sell.
Regional tanker players said at the time the lack of interest could be due to the ships being designed to operate in coastal waters and restricted waterways. Each is fitted with twin screw propellers and two engines to increase their manoeuvrability, which raises maintenance and fuel costs.
Four smaller bunker tankers operated by Coastal Oil subsidiary Heng Tong Fuels & Shipping are being sold off directly by liquidators and creditors. Two have already been offloaded while attempts are being made to find buyers for the 2,300-dwt Coastal Mercury and 2,200-dwt Coastal Saturn (both built 2012).
Sources in Singapore suggest a deal to sell the Coastal Saturn is in progress.