Hippo Spirit: Arbitration and additional costs?

by Amani Nilar 06-12-2021 | 5:57 AM

COLOMBO (News 1st); China's Quingdao Seawin Biotech Company has sought a compensation of 8 million US dollars over its organic fertilizer deal with Sri Lanka.

The compensation has been sought from Colombo Commercial Fertilizers Ltd. through an arbitration center in Singapore.

Moreover, China's Qingdao Seawin Biotech Company has requested for a three-member tribunal to be appointed to hear its complaint on the organic fertilizer deal with Sri Lanka.

It has proposed a three-member tribunal with one representative each from both sides.

The company argues that Sri Lanka has violated the contract for the organic fertilizer purchase while the compensation sought by the company covers several costs including production, freight, and demurrages.

The Chinese company is also seeking an order for Sri Lanka to pay all arbitration costs, including its legal fees and other expenses.

The 8 million dollars sought by the company also includes interest rates.

The Qingdao Seawin Biotech Company has signed two agreements with Ceylon Fertilizer Company Ltd. and Colombo Commercial Fertilizers Ltd. to sell its organic fertilizer product.

However, it has chosen Colombo Commercial Fertilizers Ltd. to appear on behalf of Sri Lanka as a respondent at the arbitration hearings.

However, Agriculture minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage says China's Qingdao Seawin Biotech company went to Singapore for arbitration because of a mistake in the agreement.

The Minister said that although he had asked the Agriculture Secretary to insert a clause to conduct arbitration in Sri Lanka, that had not taken place.

Agriculture minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage further stated that a special meeting will take place to discuss the possibility of conducting the arbitration hearing in Sri Lanka as there might not be a possibility of going to Singapore under the current circumstances.

He further stated that said his ministry had reached an agreement with the Attorney General to increase the payments made to the Chinese company from 5 to 8 million US dollars and to pay 75% of the amount mentioned in the Letter of Credit issued by People's Bank after the ship leaves Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, former JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said that Sri Lanka will have to pay for more than just the losses faced by the ship.

Pointing out that the company is going to Singapore for arbitration, the former MP said that Sri Lanka will have to pay arbitration fees and legal fees as well.

"The situation is such that we will have to unload their garbage in our country although we can't use it, and then pay demurrages, legal fees, and arbitration costs. Ultimately, the country will be cursed as the farmers won't have fertilizer. This is the truth, " he said.