Sri Lanka continues to deny entry for contentious fertilizer vessel ‘Hoppo Spirit’

Sri Lanka continues to deny entry for contentious fertilizer vessel ‘Hoppo Spirit’

Sri Lanka continues to deny entry for contentious fertilizer vessel ‘Hoppo Spirit’

Written by Zulfick Farzan

04 Nov, 2021 | 9:06 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka’s Agriculture Ministry continues to deny entry to the Hippo Spirit carrier that is carrying rejected Chinese Fertilizer.

Dr. Ajantha De Silva, the Director-General of the Department of Agriculture said Sri Lanka rejected the Chinese Organic Fertilizer as samples tested for the presence of pathogens that are harmful to Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector.

“We did not grant the bulk permit to import stocks of the fertilizer. So without that permit, we cannot accept this ship even if it comes here. There are no provisions under the Plant quarantine act for us to accept this ship,” said the Director-General.

However, the Hippo Spirit vessel carrying rejected Chinese Organic Fertilizer is still in the Sea of Sri Lanka.

International vessel trackers indicate that this Chinese Ship continues to sail in the sea of Sri Lanka while intermittently disconnecting links with satellites.

The Hippo Spirit is carrying tonnes of rejected Chinese Fertilizer from Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd to Sri Lanka.

Earlier, it was reported that the Hippo Spirit, the ship carrying Chinese Organic Fertilizer, did not return to China after the first samples were rejected by Sri Lanka.

Instead, the Hippo Spirit had sailed to Singapore and altered its course back to Sri Lanka, without returning to China.

On the 22nd of September, the Hippo Spirit ship carrying 20,000 metric tonnes of organic fertilizer left for Colombo from China’s Qingdao Port.

But the ship was diverted to Singapore after harmful bacteria was detected in the samples of this fertilizer shipment.

The Hippo Spirit ship that didn’t return to China had left Singapore declaring it would be heading to the Colombo Port.

But on the 14th of this month, the automatic identification system (AIS) used to track the ship had been deactivated at the Malakka Strait.

Vessel trackers showed the last position of the ship as the Malakka Strait before it went out of range.

Data available online showed the Hippo Spirit ship in Hambantota on the 24th of this month under the name Seiyo Explorer.

The Hippo Spirit and the Seiyo Explorer both share the same IMO number, and therefore it can be confirmed the Hippo Spirit is the Seioy Explorer.

The IMO Ship Identification Number is a unique seven-digit number that remains unchanged through a vessel’s lifetime and is linked to its hull, regardless of any changes of names, flags, or owners.

Although the ship was seen in Sri Lanka’s waters off the Hambantota District on the 24th of this month, the ship has gone out of range on tracking systems.

But on Sunday (31), marine traffic websites confirmed that the ship has entered the Sea of Sri Lanka and on 2nd November, it was further confirmed that the vessel is off the coast of Weligama, some 61 nautical miles away.

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