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Singapore: Glander International Bunkering arrests “Yangtze Harmony” over partially paid bunker fuel invoice

08 Dec 2022

A hearing between representatives of Glander International Bunkering (Norway) AS and livestock carrier Yangtze Harmony has been scheduled to take place at the High Court of the Republic of Singapore on Thursday (8 December).

Glander International Bunkering (Norway) AS, through its Singapore group company Glander International Bunkering Pte. Ltd., is seeking payment of USD 115,963.52 (not including contractual compensation and interests) from the vessel’s demise charterer.

The bunkering firm on 6 March 2022 supplied 450.042 metric tonnes (mt) of Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) and 140.029 mt of Low Sulphur Marine Gas Oil (LSMGO) to Yangtze Harmony at Coega port in South Africa, according to court document obtained by Manifold Times.

A total bunker bill of USD 515,963.52 was sent to Sinomarine Livestock Carriers Co., Ltd (SLC), acting as agents of the vessel, on 11 March requesting for the invoice to be paid with 30 days of the supply by 5 April.

However, SLC claimed Yangtze Harmony suffered a breakdown at Brisbane, Australia and could not pay its bunker bill due to an interruption in freight income; Glander later received partial payment of USD 200,000 from SLC on 30 June and 10 August with SLC failing to pay the remaining USD 115,963.52 to date.

A Lloyd’s List Intelligence Seasearcher vessel report has pointed out Soar Harmony Shipping Limited to be the registered owner of Yangtze Harmony since 28 July 2017 to date, while Yangtze Harmony Company Limited was its registered owner from 15 March 2016 to 15 February 2017 and from 13 March 2017 to 31 March 2017.

An Infospectrum report on SLC compiled on 22 February 2017 has pointed out Yangtze Harmony Company Limited to be a fully-owned subsidiary of SLC.

“[…] when SLC ordered the Bunkers for the Vessel by their email of 22 February 2022, SLC signed off on their email ‘As agent only’ and had instructed that the invoice was to be made out to Yangtze Harmony Company Limited. The Claimant assumed that Yangtze Harmony Company Limited must be the demise charterer (i.e. disponent owner) of the Vessel (since the registered owner was Soar Harmony Shipping Limited) and SLC had ordered the Bunkers on behalf of Yangtze Harmony Company Limited,” stated Glander.

“That Yangtze Harmony Company Limited was (and continues to be) the demise charterer of the Vessel would be consistent with the fact that when the Claimant threatened to arrest the Vessel in August 2022 should the balance of the Invoice (which was made out to, among others, Yangtze Harmony Company Limited) not be paid, SLC (acting ‘as agent only’) responded to say ‘[i]t’s very tough for us owners to pay the outstanding on 4th/Aug 2022. Hence, the payment plan/schedule is proposed from us owners as below: Remaining balance to be remitted by the 31st (sic) of Sep 2022’.”

The Yangtze Harmony, which was arrested on 25 October by Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, is currently being held at Sudong Special Purpose Anchorage – 4309D.

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 8 December, 2022

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