Aker Philadelphia needs new orders to survive.
AKER Philadelphia Shipyard has warned that it will go out of business unless it secures new orders beyond the four Jones Act product tankers it is finishing.
The company also hinted that unless new orders are found, deliveries of the four current orders, the last in a 12-ship order chartered to Overseas Shipholding Group, could be affected.
Aker Philadelphia, a unit of STX Europe, reiterated concerns first expressed in September last year, when it said raw materials ordered for two speculative tankers it wanted to build beyond the OSG dozen could cripple its finances.
Aker Philadelphia"s 2009 results statement said the yard would lose $15m already spent on parts for the first of the two speculative tankers, on which it ?continues to make commitments as required by the production schedule?.
The statement added: ?If the shipyard is unable to build additional vessels beyond the 12-ship series without significant interruption, then it would incur significant additional expenses and it would be very challenging for the company to continue operations after delivery of the 12th tanker.
?In addition, because multiple vessels are in production at any one time, lack of continued firm backlog will cause operational inefficiencies for completion of the remaining vessels in the current 12-ship series.?
In September, Aker Philadelphia asked the US government to give it a bridge loan of $150m, with which it could build the two speculative ships regardless of buyers. This plea apparently received a cool response in Washington.
The developments came as Aker Philadelphia reported a net loss of $12.7m for the fourth quarter of 2009 and $4.4m for the whole year, compared with $600,000 and $1.8m respectively for the corresponding 2008 periods.
The yard said it continued to prospect for new orders in product tankers and containerships, the only two categories it had built since it started in the late 1990s. It revealed that ?as a result of renewable energy initiatives, it is evaluating requests for the construction of vessels to support the installation of offshore wind turbines?.