Qingdao agrees to take back rejected fertilizer

Qingdao agrees to take back rejected fertilizer & send new shipment - Agri Minister

by Zulfick Farzan 24-11-2021 | 3:07 PM

COLOMBO (News 1st); Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., has agreed to send a new shipment of Organic Fertilizer to Sri Lanka, said Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage on Wednesday (24).

"The issue we are having is not with the Chinese government, but with the particular shipment. They have not obtained the license to bring this shipment. So, we have clearly told them to follow the procedure. There is an international tender. We have given them the specification and they have to follow the specifications," he told reporters at the weekly cabinet media briefing.

He said the Chinese would take back the ship and send a new shipment with samples for testing.

"We have no issue with the Chinese Government or the Chinese company. Our only issue is with the particular shipment. There are pathogens in this shipment and we are not in a position to accept it," he said.

Pathogen Detected:

On the 17th of September Sri Lanka’s Minister of Agriculture confirmed that a microorganism identified as ‘Erwinia’ was discovered in samples brought down ‘unofficially’ to Sri Lanka and tested.

The supplier was the same, Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd.

On September 29th, Sri Lanka’s Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage announced the suspension of organic fertilizer imports from China.

This was after Director-General of Agriculture Dr. Ajantha De Silva on 28th September confirmed that Harmful Bacteria was detected in a fresh sample (2nd batch) of Chinese Organic Fertilizer.

The Ceylon Fertilizer Company Limited had got a court order to block payment to Qingdao Seawin Biotech over the shipment of organic fertilizer which was contaminated.

The Colombo Commerical High Court had issued the order on October 22nd, against the Qingdao Seawin Biotech, its local agent, and the People’s Bank.

Blacklisting People’s Bank :

The People’s Bank of Sri Lanka was then blacklisted by the Economic and Commercial Office of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka for failing to make the payment according to the Letter of Credit and the contracts between the two parties.

However, People’s Bank said that is it bound by an enjoining order issued by the Commercial High Courts of Sri Lanka with regard to the trade transaction in question, which precludes the bank from processing the payment.

People’s Bank also said that the temporary delay in processing the said payment pertaining to the LC is solely due to the bank’s obligation to be bound by the legal directions of the country, as a responsible corporate citizen.

Letter of Demand:

On the 7th of November Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd., the Chinese Organic Fertilizer Manufacturer sent a Letter of Demand to the National Plant Quarantine Service.

The Letter of Demand seen Exclusively by News 1st notes that Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd., has suffered significant loss and damage in a sum of US$ 8 Million and continues to suffer further loss and damage due to loss of reputation and goodwill as well as existing and potential business, due to the negligent conduct of the National Plant Quarantine Service.

The LOD noted that the NPQS make a payment of US$ 8 Million within 3 days from the date hereof for the loss and damage caused to Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd.

The Bulk Carrier – Hippo Spirit:

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.

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, and later moved closer to the Port of Colombo.