The owners the New Diamond supertanker, which caught fire with a cargo of two million barrels of oil aboard earlier in September, have agreed to pay 340 million rupees ($1.84 million) to Sri Lanka for its help in extinguishing the fire.
The news comes shortly after reports that Sri Lanka would seek compensation for the fire-stricken ship.
The Panamanian-flagged VLCC New Diamond caught fire on 3 September, off the eastern coast of Sri Lanka, resulting in death of a crew member. After burning for almost a week, the fire was reported to be extinguished by 11 September.
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.
The New Diamond, chartered by Indian Oil Corp, is currently 66 nautical miles from Batticaloa on Sri Lanka’s east coast. MEPA has allowed the release of 20 crew members while one injured sailor is undergoing treatment in a private hospital in Sri Lanka, Lahandapura said. The captain has not been allowed to leave the country as he is going through legal proceedings, she said.
In addition, she said the interim claim does not include damages for the oil spill. While it did leak fuel, its crude oil cargo remained intact.
Greece-based Porto Emporios Shipping Inc is the registered owner of the 20-year old very large crude carrier, Refinitiv data showed.
SMIT Singapore Pte Ltd is expected to lead salvage operations.