Russia Court seizes four tugs of Maersk

Russia has seized four tugboats belonging to a subsidiary of Danish shipping giant Maersk in Russia’s far east, which ceased operations in the country after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

In particular, Svitzer announced plans to transfer the four tugs out of Russia and re-registered them away from the Russian flag with Svitzer Sakhalin attempting to invoke a force majeure on April 17 to suspend the service contract. The Russian operator of the oil and gas project took Svitzer to court arguing that the loss of the four tugs could jeopardize production activities at the facilities.

On April 25 we were informed a local court has ordered the tugboats cannot leave Russia and also transferred custody of the tugboats to a third party.

….Maersk said in a statement.

According to Russian media, the four vessels, owned by Maersk unit Svitzer, were operating on a long-term contract for the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project in Russia’s Far East.

We believe the situation regarding the tugs is untenable and efforts to resolve the matter are ongoing. a brief statement, Maersk said.

The tugs were one of Maersk’s final assets in Russia. In 2020, the company took a more than $700 million write-down on its Russian assets. It sold its interest in a terminal operator and its cold storage warehouse in Saint Petersburg and inland terminal in Novorossiysk. They had indicated that they were also looking to sell the four tugboats.

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