Blue Fin, the tanker pool controlled by Heidmar, took legal actions of approximately $1 million against Bomin Deutschland GMBH for damages arising from allegedly off-spec bunkers, which were lifted from the M/T Ridgebury Alina L at the port of Port Luis, Mauritius on the 15th of July 2018.
This case is one more in the series of claims related with bad bunkers which outburst during 2018 and still continue.
In this case, Blue Fin had ordered approximately 800-1,000 tons fuel oil 180 cst in order for the vessel to complete her voyage from Freeport, Bahamas to Singapore. Blue Fin alleges that Bomin some time prior delivery was informed by their supplier, Shell, that the bunkers were off-spec, unsuitable for consumption and should not be delivered to the vessel. According to Blue Fin, after Bomin was unsuccessful to cancel the bunkering, they finally supplied the vessel with bunkers despite the fact that they knew they are off-spec and unable to be used. Furthermore, the issued BDN appeared to mention that the oil was in conformity with regulations while, according to the tanker company, it was not.
Blue Fin say in their allegations that they were afterwards contacted by Bomin, who explained that according to the initial laboratory test the bunkers might be off-spec and they requested for a second laboratory test to take place. According to Blue Fin, Bomin believed that the results of the first test were incorrect and were confident that the second laboratory test would prove that the bunkers were on-spec.
Since the vessel’s schedule was very tight, waiting for the second fuel testing would definitely result in cargo claims from receivers. During consultations between the tanker company and Bomin, it appears that Bomin gave assurances that it was safe for the vessel to sail with those bunkers onboard and that in case the results of the second testing were unsuccessful, Bomin would bear all additional costs for the vessel to take fresh bunkers. After Bomin’s assurances, the vessel departed from Port Luis to its destination.
Finally, the second testing showed that the bunkers were off-spec and the vessel needed to deviate to Galle, Sri Lanka for a second bunkering, which added six days to the overall voyage. According to Blue Fin, the overall damages were $1.02 million which included costs of deviation, damages due to cargo’s price reduction and costs of debunkering.