Sri Lanka AG informs MEPA that New Diamond claims negotiations are pending

Sri Lanka’s Attorney General Dappula de Livera informed the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) on October 1st that negotiations over a claim regarding marine pollution caused by tankship New Diamond (IMO 9191424) were pending.

De Livera reportedly told the MEPA that other claims were yet to be settled by the owners of the vessel.

MEPA meanwhile stated that it could not approve New Diamond leaving Sri Lankan waters until the negotiations were concluded.

Sri Lanka had reportedly granted permission for New Diamond to sail to the United Arab Emirates, where its oil cargo would be transferred to another ship for further supplies to Indian Oil Corp, other Sri Lankan officials said, leaving the current situation in some confusion.

By Sunday October 4th the vessel was south of Sri Lanka,heading in the direction of Paradip in India, but not yet out of Sri Lankan waters.

The approval for the ship to leave Sri Lankan waters has been given by the maritime rescue coordination centre and it was previously  thought likely to sail towards the UAE, Captain Indika De Silva said. “Two navy ships are shadowing the tanker until it leaves Sri Lanka’s 200 mile exclusive economic zone,” De Silva added.

Indian Oil Company chairman SM Vaidya said the cargo loaded on the tanker would be transferred to another vessel at Khor Fakkan port in UAE and eventually be taken for processing at the Paradip refinery.

The fully laden New Diamond caught fire early last month after a blast in its engine room. Only concerted action by Sri Lanka and India kept the vessel from spilling a huge amount of oil into the sea.

2000-built, Panama-flagged, 160,079 gt New Diamond is owned by Porto Emporios Shipping Inc care of manager New Shipping Ltd-Lib of Piraeus, Greece. It is entered with West of England (Claims Team Greece) on behalf of Porto Emporios Shipping Inc.