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TKK Singapore vessel grounded due to alleged ‘improper marine fuel’

14 Aug 2018

The Thorco Lineage, a general cargo ship owned by Singapore-based TKK Shipping, was grounded on 24 June due to ‘improper marine fuel’ supplied by Bomin Bunker Oil Corporation that caused engine failure, claims World Fuel Services (WFS) marine fuel brokerage subsidiary Trans-Tec.

Trans-Tec took both TKK Shipping and Bomin Bunker Oil Corporation (Bomin) to court on 7 August, 2018 over a dispute between the parties as to the applicable contractual terms and provisions for a marine fuel sale and damage claims arising out of the vessel grounding.

U.S. court documents acquired by Manifold Times found the Thorco Lineage lifting 680 metric tonnes (mt) of bunker fuel at the Port of Cristobal, Panama on 7 June.

“No complaints about the quality of the supplied fuel were made while the fuel was being stemmed onto the vessel or after delivery was complete,” says Trans-Tec.

On June 24 2018, the Thorco Lineage ran aground on a low lying atoll in French Polynesia after suffering an engine failure allegedly within 24 hours of switching over to the fuel supplied by Bomin, though a brokerage trade agreement with Trans-Tec.

The same day saw the charterers of the Thorco Lineage, through TKK, notifying Trans-Tec of the vessel grounding and engine failure, asserting a claim allegedly due to improper marine fuel supplied by Trans-Tec in Cristobal, Panama that was of poor quality and/or of the wrong fuel specifications agreed to by the parties.

Trans-Tec in turn notified Bomin of the vessel grounding and TKK’s claim; in response, Bomin advised Trans-Tec that the claim was over the 14-day time bar pursuant to a provision in Bomin’s General Conditions of Sale and Delivery contract.

Trans-Tec, in regards to the ground, also sent a surveyor to the Thorco Lineage to investigate the loss and alleged damages.

However, TKK “failed to cooperate with Trans-Tec by, including but not limited to, restricting Trans-Tec’s surveyor’s access to the Thorco Lineage, its crew, its records and samples of the fuel on board.”

In summary, Trans-Tec’s complaint against TKK and Bomin are as follows:

  • Count I – Breach of contract – Failure to corporate (TKK)
  • Count II – Breach of contract (Bomin)
  • Count III – Negligence (Bomin)
  • Count IV – Common Law Indemnity (Bomin)
  • Count V – The marine fuel sale to Trans-Tec and any loss, damages or claims arising out of the sales or vessel grounding are governed by the Bomin confirmation and not Bomin’s general conditions (Bomin)
  • Count VI – Any loss, damages, or claims arising out of the sale or vessel grounding are not time barred (Bomin and TKK)
  • Count VII – The marine fuel sale to TKK and any loss, damages, or claims arising out of the sale or vessel grounding are governed by the TKK confirmation, the framework agreement, and the World Fuel Services Marine Group of Companies General Terms and Conditions (TKK and Bomin)

Photo credit: Marine Nationale
Published: 14 August, 2018


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