Written by Zulfick Farzan
07 Nov, 2021 | 8:24 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); The Hippo Spirit bulk carrier which is transporting rejected Chinese Organic Fertilizer is moving close to the Colombo Port, confirmed Marine Traffic websites.
The vessel is now located some 11 nautical miles away from the Colombo Port.
The Harbour Master of the Colombo Port confirmed that the vessel will reach Colombo for Supplies Replenishment.
However, he said the Hippo Spirit will not be allowed to enter the Colombo Port and supply boat will be assigned for replenishment services.
What is important to note that the Hippo Spirit decided to reach Colombo for replenishment, after passing the Hambantota and Galle Ports, which were located along its route to Colombo.
Documents seen by News 1st reveal the the Hippo Spirit is requesting to replenish its vegetable stocks :
Chinese Cabbage (30 kg) / Round Cabbage (20 kg) /Potato (30 kg) / White Radish (20 kg) / Carrots (10 kg) / Lettuce Iceberg (15 kg) / Cauliflower (25 kg) / Fresh Tomato Half-Ripe (60 kg) / White Onion (30 kg) / Cucumber (30 kg) / Fresh Beans (30 kg) / Egg Plant (25 kg) / Green Bell Pepper (8 kg) / Green Long Chili (8 kg) / Garlic (5 kg) / Broccoli (20 kg) / Chayote Fresh (10 kg) / Bananas (30 kg) / Eggs (50 kg)
The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka in a clarification on the rejected fertilizer samples by M/S Qingdao Seawin said Ceylon Fertilizer Company received fertilizer samples on 28th July and the National Plant Quarantine Service should have done NPQS tests before awarding the bid, signing contract & awarding the import permit.
It further added that the ship name last was changed in November 2020 after new owners obtained it.
Sri Lanka’s State Fertilizer Companies that ordered the fertilizer from China told News 1st that the samples mentioned by the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka were not received by Sri Lanka in an official capacity.
They said 10 samples each weighing 1 kg should have been sent to Sri Lanka, however, Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd only sent 500 g for tests.
They also told News 1st that such a sample cannot be released to the National Plant Quarantine Service for tests, while the second samples was sent in August and the NPQS confirmed that it was contaminated in September 2021.
The State Fertilizer Companies also noted that after Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd was informed about the test results, the local agent with police protection had submitted a sample for a third time.
However, the State Fertilizer Companies said when the samples were handed over again, Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd had already deployed the Hippo Spirit with a consignment of Organic Fertilizer, to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s Shipping Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena on Sunday (7) said he instructed the officials to deny any request to unload the fertilizer in Colombo.
The Hippo Spirit is carrying tonnes of rejected Chinese Fertilizer from Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd to Sri Lanka.
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 October, the automatic identification system (AIS) used to track the ship had been deactivated at the Malakka Strait.
Data available online showed the Hippo Spirit ship in Hambantota on 24th October 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 Seiyo 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.
In early November 2021, the vessel was seen some 61 nautical miles away from the coast of Weligama, in the southern region of the Sea of Sri Lanka.
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