Sri Lanka is yet to receive compensation for the damage caused to the country’s marine environment from the distressed crude oil tanker, the MT New Diamond, last year, a high official said.
Owners of very large crude carrier New Diamond, which caught fire off Sri Lanka’s east coast on September 3, have agreed to settle a claim of $1.9m. They will pay Sri Lanka for assistance and firefighting efforts tendered to the vessel
The interim claim is for services provided by the Sri Lankan navy, air force, ports authority and Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) after the fire, according to Nishara Jayaratne, coordination officer of Sri Lanka’s Attorney General, as quoted by Reuters.
Greece-based Porto Emporios Shipping Inc is the registered owner of the 20-year old very large crude carrier, Refinitiv data showed.
Director-General of the Marine Environment Protection Authority Dr. P.B. Terney Pradeep Kumara said the damage caused to Sri Lanka’s marine environment is being estimated.
MEPA confirmed Sri Lanka received compensation from owners of MT New Diamond on two separate occasions for dousing the fire aboard the crude oil tanker and related costs.
“Sri Lanka received Rs. 10 million and Rs 442 million as payments for the services provided,” said Dr. P.B. Terney Pradeep Kumara.
He said advice from the Attorney General’s Department will be obtained to secure compensation from the owners of MT New Diamond.
The MT New Diamond crude oil tanker was transporting 270,000 metric tons of crude oil from the port of Meena Al Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Port of Paradip in India when a fire broke out aboard in the eastern seas of Sri Lanka on 03rd September 2020 at around 0800 hrs.
The ship was sailing 38 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point when it caught fire with an explosion in a boiler in the ship’s main engine room.
The distressed oil tanker in the eastern seas was manned by 23 crew members including 5 Greeks and 18 Philippine nationals.
It was also reported that 1700 metric tons of diesel required for the use of the tanker are also stored onboard.
MT New Diamond is a 20-year old crude oil tanker that is 333 meters long and 60 meters wide, and sailed with a Japanese certificate and is registered in Panama.