PDZ’s Second Vessel Arrested for Unpaid Bunker Claims

  • As Operator says Stellar Cosmo Not Heading for Repairs

Malysia’s PDZ Holdings Bhd has had its second feeder arrested amid unpaid bunker bills.

The 1997-built PDZ Maju was served with a warrant of arrest on 21 February 2017 by Continental Platform Sdn Bhd (CPSB) based on a claim worth RM 563,311 (USD 127,662) for unpaid supply of bunkers in December 2016.

Earlier in February, another of the company’s vessels was served with an arrest warrant also for unpaid bunkers, namely PDZ Mewah.

The warrant was served by Dan-Bunkering (Singapore), CCK Petroleum Sdn Bhd, CCK Capital and CCK Petroleum respectively, for the supply of marine fuel oil and/or marine gas oil totaled in approximately RM 3.8 million.

Following the latest warrant of arrest, the company said that it has been in talks with CPSB in order to reach an out-of-court settlement.

“However, the board is of the opinion that negotiations with CPSB have since fell through and, upon obtaining legal advice, has resolved to take steps to defend the arrest of vessel and any claims that may subsequently be filed and set it aside,” the company said.

The financial and operational impact to the company is expected to be minimal as the company pointed out that it had made the necessary arrangements to secure slots from third party vessels as an interim measure to continue providing the same services.

The expected losses resulting from hiring third party ships will be in the range of RM 45,000 to RM 50,000 per month, the company added.

The net book value of PDZ Maju based on the latest audited financial statements of PDZ for the financial year ended 31 December 2016 is RM 5.554 million.

In the meantime, Polaris Shipping’s Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) Stellar Cosmo has not broken down and is not heading for repairs to Cape Town, as disclosed to World Maritime News.

Holman Fenwick Willan Singapore LLP, speaking on the authority of the ship’s operator, said that the reports indicating that the ship was heading for repairs after developing a crack in the hull were not true and that the ship was in fact heading to Singapore for refueling.

“Stellar Cosmo diverted from her voyage to China to the last reported site of the Stellar Daisy to take part in search and rescue operations. She has departed early from the scene and is heading to Singapore for bunkers before continuing her contractual voyage to China. The reason for her departure is to allow her sufficient bunkers to reach China and not for reasons of repairs as has been reported,” the firm said reacting to media reports.

The 1992-built ship was also converted from a crude carrier to an ore carrier, a process that has been put under spotlight over the past few days as the ship’s owner faces criticism following the sinking of Stellar Daisy.

The VLOC went missing on March 31 and is believed to have sunk some 1,700 miles east of the Port of Montevideo, Uruguay. Stellar Daisy was carrying eight South Korean and sixteen Filipino sailors. Two of the sailors were rescued on April 2, while the search for the remaining missing 22 crew members continues.

Initial findings indicate that the converted ship had split in half following a hull crack that is believed to have caused shifting of cargo and subsequent sinking of the ill-fated vessel. Just a few days after the incident, Polaris Shipping confirmed that another of the firm’s vessels reported a crack on the outer hull of a tank- the 1993-built bulk carrier Stellar Unicorn.

The ship was sent for repairs and will continue its voyage to China once it gets necessary approvals.

As a result of the said incidents, the company said that it had launched inspection of all its operated vessels.

As informed, the inspection will be conducted in addition to the regular maintenance and inspection, and would continue until all vessels are inspected and cleared for service.

World Maritime News