Ocean Gala has room for some 1,800 residents and was meant to be used as Sweden's largest refugee accommodation. At present, the ship is anchored in Utansjö off the town of Härnösand to the dismay of the residents and the authorities.
According to the agreement Floating Accommodation Sweden AB signed with the Swedish Migration Board, the Swedish state will be presented with a neat bill for 5.6 million kronor (roughly 600,000 dollars) a week or 290 million kronor (roughly 35 million dollars) a year. The agreement provides a possibility for extension for four additional years, which potentially allows the company to bill a total 1 billion kroner (roughly 120 million dollars).
Under the agreement, it was previously thought that the company would need to have at least one refugee living on the ship per day in order to receive the payment. However, after talks with the Migration Board, it was concluded that the payment would be carried out regardless of the number of refugees.
Consequently, Floating Accommodation Sweden AB threatened legal action if the Migration Board didn't pay the invoice. The company believes that it has met all the requirements.
"I will be surprised if they do not pay for the time and the effort we have invested into coming to Sweden with the products they ordered. Our cost of service is 10 million kronor per month, so we obviously cannot do this without being paid," Tandberg said.
Built in 1982, MV Ocean Gala is a luxury cruise ship which has spent decades sailing the sun-drenched waters of the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.