Panel of scientists confirm marine pollution by ‘MT New Diamond’ oil leak

Panel of scientists confirm marine pollution by ‘MT New Diamond’ oil leak

September 24, 2020   07:21 pm


The panel of scientists appointed by the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) to investigate the marine pollution caused by the crude oil tanker ‘MT New Diamond’ which was engulfed in fire off Sri Lanka earlier this month, has submitted its report to Attorney General Dappula de Livera.

The AG’s Coordinating Officer State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne confirmed that the Attorney General received the report and that it confirms marine pollution by the ill-fated crude oil tanker. 

General Manager of MEPA Mr. Terney Pradeep Kumara erlier stated that the report presents preliminary recommendations for the marine pollution caused by the fire-stricken vessel.

The relevant report has been compiled by the MEPA authorities and an expert panel of scientists, he added.

Legal action to be sought against the oil tanker will be decided based on the recommendations of the report and the estimation of the losses related to marine pollution will be finalized without delay, MEPA General Manager said further.

The Attorney General met with the Marine Environment Pollution Authority (MEPA) and the expert panel of scientists preparing the report on Monday (21).

At around 8.30 am on September 03, the oil tanker ‘MT New Diamond’, sailing 38 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point east of Sri Lankan seas, was engulfed by fire following an explosion of a boiler in the main engine room.

The tanker was transporting 270,000 metric tons of crude oil from the port of Mina Al Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Indian port of Paradip when it faced with this unfortunate turn of events. It was also reported that 1,700 metric tons of diesel required for the use of the tanker were stored onboard.

The vessel was subsequently towed to safe waters and the Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Sri Lanka Coast Guard, Indian Defence Forces and the Indian Coast Guard had doused the fire in a joint operation.

Meanwhile the the owners of the crude oil tanker ‘MT New Diamond’ have informed the Attorney General of their agreement to fully settle the interim claim of the government stakeholders for Rs. 340 million.

The AG today submitted a further claim of Rs 100 million to the owners of the crude oil tanker ‘MT New Diamond’, increasing the total claim to Rs 440 million.

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