Sri Lanka seeks another USD 19.022 Million from MT New Diamond

Sri Lanka has sought another USD 19.022 Million from the ship, MT New Diamond, for marine pollution.

Attorney General Dappula De Livera has forwarded a marine pollution claim for 3.423 Billion Rupees (19.022 Million US Dollars) to the lawyers of the ship owners of MT New Diamond.

State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said that the claim has been made in respect of the oil spill caused in September 2020.

A report by an expert committee appointed to estimate the cost of the damages caused to the environment due to the oil leak has already been submitted to the Attorney General.

The owners of MT New Diamond have already paid a compensation of Rs. 454 million to the Government of Sri Lanka for containing the fire and after the Captain of the vessel pleaded guilty for the incident.

The crude oil tanker caught fire following an explosion in its boiler room nearly 38 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point east on 3rd September 2020. The vessel was transporting crude oil from Kuwait to the Odhisha Port in India.

The Sri Lanka Navy together with the Air Force rescued 22 crew members from the oil tanker, while one Philippine crew member was reported dead.

At the time of the explosion, the vessel was transporting 270,000 metric tonnes of crude oil and 1700 metric tonnes of diesel.

The Marine Environment Protection Authority had later obtained the assistance of other countries and foreign agencies to tow the crude oil tanker away from Sri Lankan waters.

An oil leak had been detected from the vessel while it was being towed away.

A special committee appointed to investigate the oil leak had determined that the coastal environment had sustained damages as a result. (Colombo Gazette)