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Bunker contamination: Blue Fin seeks US $1.02 million claim from Bomin

12 Feb 2019

Blue Fin Tankers Inc., the Suezmax tanker operator pool of Heidmar Inc., on Friday (8 February) filed a complaint against Bomin Deutschland GmbH at a U.S. Court seeking a total US $1 million (exact: $1,022,662.12) in damages over the use of off-spec marine fuel on the M/V Ridgebury Alina L.

Between 800 to 1,000 metric tonnes of RMG 180 grade marine fuel was delivered to the crude oil tanker at Port Louis on 15 July, 2018.

“At some time prior to delivering the bunkers to the Vessel, Bomin received information that the bunkers it received from its supplier Shell were off-spec and were not suitable for use and should not be delivered to the Vessel,” alleges the complaint from Blue Fin.

“On morning of July 15, 2018, Bomin, having information in its possession that the bunkers were off-spec and not suitable for use, allegedly tried to contact its agent that was scheduled to deliver the bunkers to the Vessel in order to instruct its agent that the bunkers should not be delivered. Non-the-less, Bomin failed to stop its agents and the bunker the barge from delivering the off-spec and unsuitable fuel to the Vessel. As such, Bomin delivered to the Vessel bunkers that it knew were off-spec and not suitable for use.”

Blue Fin claimed it later received a call from Bomin informing of the off-spec bunkers but explained to the fuel supplier it had to sail from Port Louis to deliver the charterer’s cargo on time at Singapore or face damages.

“In response, knowing of the risks facing Blue Fin and the Charterer, Bomin assured Blue Fin that it is safe for the Vessel to sail from Port Louis with the off-spec bunkers. Specifically, Bomin assured Blue Fin that the results of the initial test were incorrect, and that the further testing Bomin had requested would show that the bunkers were actually on-spec. Bomin also assured Blue Fin that if it turned out that the bunkers actually were off-spec, Bomin would cover any costs or damages resulting from the Vessel having to deviate from the Voyage to take on fresh fuel,” alleges Blue Fin.

Results of the secondary testing, however, confirmed the bunkers were off-spec and could not be used resulting in the M/V Ridgebury Alina L arranging to take on fresh fuel at Galle, Sri Lanka on 31 July while on route to Singapore.

The vessel sustained physical damages to its fuel tank, piping, and fuel system as a result of the off-spec bunkers; the value of damages may be submitted to the U.S. Court at a late date.

The deviation resulted in Blue Fin incurring additional cost of US $364,603.20 due to increased fuel consumption, lost time, additional steaming time, and other internal costs.

The delay cost the charterer a reduction in the price of its cargo, as well as other financial damages, in the amount of approximately US $658,058.92 which it submitted to Blue Fin.

“As a direct result of Bomin’s breach of its express warranty, the Vessel was delayed from it Voyage causing Blue Fin damages in the amount of approximately $1,022,662.12,” it states.

Photo credit: Ridgebury Tankers
Published: 12 February, 2019


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