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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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World Fuel Services in legal battle over alleged non-payment of bunker fuel

Case revolves around fuel delivery to the bulk carrier M/V Triton last year.

Image credit: Pixabay CC0

Updated on 02 May 2018 12:48 GMT

World Fuel Services (Singapore) Pte Ltd (WFS) has filed a lawsuit in Oregon, US, against the bulk carrier M/V Triton for the alleged non-payment of bunker fuel.

According to court documents seen by Bunker Index, the plaintiff is demanding $279,679.12 as of April 18, which is the total outstanding balance for the fuel, including interest and administrative fees, with interest continuing to accrue at the rate of 2 percent per month until the amount owing is paid in full.

WFS claims that, on or around March 15, 2017, it entered into a contract with the charterer of the Triton - Swiss firm Windrose SPS Shipping and Trading SA - to supply the vessel with marine fuel oil (MFO) at an agreed price of $290 per tonne at the port of Singapore.

WFS says it then subcontracted the supply to Universal Energy Pte. Ltd., which subsequently delivered 746.063 tonnes to the ship on March 20, 2017, and was later paid in full by WFS for the operation.

Charterer Windrose was later sent an invoice on March 27, 2017, for $216,358.27, with the amount to be paid within 30 days of the date of delivery, by April 19, 2017.

Approximately three weeks ago, on or around April 11, 2018, WFS says it sent notice of the outstanding balance due to three parties: Husky Trading, understood to be the registered owner; Diana Shipping Incorporated, said to be the beneficial owner of the ship; and Diana Shipping Services S.A., the commercial operator of the vessel.

In WFS's legal complaint, it demands full payment of the aforementioned US$279,679.12, plus accrued interest and additional fees.

Furthermore, the fuel seller requests that a warrant of arrest be issued against the ship, which was due to arrive at the port of Kalama, Washington, on or around April 18, 2018.

The warrant of arrest was subsequently granted by the court on April 19, 2018 - a year to the day since the invoice was allegedly due to be paid.

Universal Energy

At the time of the Triton bunker delivery, in March 2017, Universal Energy was ranked as the third biggest supplier in Singapore by the Martime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). However, as previously reported, just over five months later, the company's bunker supplier licence and bunker craft operator licence were not renewed, and this meant that the company was no longer allowed to operate as a bunker supplier and bunker craft operator in Singapore.

Explaining the reason at the time, the MPA said that Universal Energy had accumulated demerit points for the delivery of "severely aerated" fuel, as well as stoppages during bunkering operations.

No evidence has been presented in WFS's case so far to suggest that there were any fuel quality - or other - issues related to Universal Energy's bunker delivery to the Triton, performed by the MT UE Saphire.

In the original bunker delivery note (BDN), seen by Bunker Index, the customer feedback rating was the highest - '5; Very Satisfied' out of a possible 5 - and no Notice of Protest was issued.

Following its licence ban last year, Universal Energy went into liquidation, facing millions in claims from other companies for unpaid fuel bills.

Related Links:

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World Fuel Services Corp.
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