Solstad Offshore, Saipem Settle Vessel Contract Termination Fee Dispute


May 20, 2021
Normand Maximus - Credit: Solstad (file photo)

Normand Maximus - Credit: Solstad (file photo)

Norwegian offshore vessel operator Solstad Offshore said Thursday it had reached a settlement deal with the Italian offshore services firm Saipem over a fee for early contract termination for the Normand Maximus vessel.

As reported in September 2020, Saipem had terminated the charter party for Solstad Offshore's Normand Maximus offshore construction vessel four years early.

Solstad said at the time that the estimated backlog lost following the termination was around $200 million, adding that it would be entitled to an early termination fee of approximately USD 45 million.

The original charter period for the 177.9 meters long vessel started in 2016 and was to be eight years long, but Saipem terminated the deal four years earlier than originally planned.

In a statement on Thursday, Solstad, which had since the termination been pursuing legally the unpaid termination fee and other claims from Saipem, said the companies had reached the settlement of all claims and counterclaims related to the charter.

Saipem will pay Solstad Offshore $48,25 million in June 2021. Solstad said that the amount equaled around 96% of its gross claim.

The Normand Maximus vessel was built by Vard in Romania and Norway. At the time of delivery to Saipem, it was equipped with a 900-ton active heave compensated offshore crane and a 550-ton top tension vertical lay system, for the installation of large diameter flexible pipes in ultra-deepwater environments.

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