Diana Shipping subsidiary Gala Properties Inc. has received a notice from the charterers of the 'M/V Houston' claiming that they are entitled to terminate the vessel's charter effective November 26, 2013 for purported breaches by the owners. A claim they firmly dispute as follows:
The Company believes that the owners have fully performed under the terms of the charter since its inception and that the charterers have no basis for the purported termination of the charter. The charterers have not previously alleged breaches by the owners. In contrast, payments by charterers under the charter have been late on numerous occasions.
Despite efforts by the owners to resolve the dispute with the charterers, the charterers have been unwilling to remedy their breach and anticipatory repudiation and/or renunciation of the charter by withdrawing their wrongful termination and providing the vessel with employment orders in accordance with the charter.
Owners have informed the charterers that their conduct constitutes a continuing repudiatory and/or renunciatory breach of the charter bringing the charterparty to an end. Owners will now seek to mitigate their losses as a result of the charterers’ breach and reserve all their rights to claim such losses from charterers and/or to take appropriate steps to protect their position.
The vessel MV Houston was time chartered to Shagang Shipping Company Limited a guaranteed nominee of the Jiangsu Shagang Group Co., at a gross charter hire rate of $55,000 per day for a period of a minimum of fifty-nine (59) months and a maximum of sixty-two (62) months. The charter commenced on November 3, 2009 and has an initial termination date of October 3, 2014.