Written by Zulfick Farzan
14 Jul, 2021 | 3:18 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); X-Press Feeders, operators of the container ship ‘X-Press Pearl’, through the vessel owner’s P&I insurers, made an initial payment of US$ 3.6 million to the Sri Lankan government.
According to a statement, this payment was made to help compensate those affected by the consequences of the fire and sinking of the vessel.
‘Discussions are ongoing on the payment of further claims and all legitimate claims will be considered,’ said X-Press Feeders in the statement.
Recently, speaking on the compensation claim by Sri Lanka from the owners of the X-Press Pearl, Attorney-at-Law Darshani Lahandapura, the Chairman of the country’s Marine Environment Protection Authority, said Sri Lanka’s first interim claim is $USD 40 million of which the owners have agrees to pay Rs. 720 million.
‘They have not denied paying the balance of the interim claim, however, they have requested us to provide further evidence and supporting documents for the claim,’ she told in a Facebook Live statement on Saturday (10).
Lahandapura said there will be multiple interim claims made from the owners of the X-Press Pearl and all these claims will be for the expenses incurred by Sri Lankan authorities.
In order to claim damages caused to Sri Lanka’s marine environment, a panel of 41 experts from diverse sectors has been appointed to study and submit a report to MEPA within three months.
‘The claim for marine damages will not be a small amount,’ she hinted during MEPAs Facebook live post.
At the same time, X-Press Feeders said it continues to contribute to the cleanup and pollution mitigation efforts, having flown in additional oil spill response assets on a chartered flight from Malaysia in response to a request from the UN-EU team in Colombo.
At the wreck site, caretaker salvors remain on a 24-hour watch to deal with any debris and report any form of a spill with drones deployed daily to help with the monitoring activities, it added.
Marine mutual insurer The London P&I Club confirmed in a May 26th statement that it provides specialist marine liability cover, known as protection and indemnity, or P&I, to the X-Press Pearl.
The environmental impact of the blaze could have a significant bearing on the size of the P&I claim.
A “serious pollution incident” could lead to the claim swelling to “potential hundreds of millions” of dollars, because the vessel is now resting in the sea bed.
‘X-Press Feeders’ – the operators of the X-Press Pearl have appointed ITOPF and Oil Spill Response to work alongside Sri Lankan authorities to control marine pollution.
These ‘appointments’ have raised serious concerns as they were not made by the Sri Lankan government.
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