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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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GCC Bunkers withdraws lawsuit against Vitol subsidiary

Case voluntarily dismissed a day after filing complaint for failure to pay $27k due on $522k invoice.



Image credit: Pixabay CC0


Updated on 11 Jul 2018 11:17 GMT

U.S.-based physical supplier GCC Bunkers LLC has withdrawn its lawsuit against the vessel M/V Neverland Angel and Vitol-owned Mansel Pte Ltd - just one day after filing a complaint against the defendants for failure to pay the remainder of an invoice that was due on March 23, 2018.

GCC Bunkers had claimed in documents filed with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and seen by Bunker Index, that it agreed on February 19 to supply the Neverland Angel with 1,000 metric tonnes of RMG 380 fuel and 245 tonnes of marine gas oil (MGO) at Bolivar Roads Anchorage, near Galveston, with delivery said to have taken place "on or about February 21".

The total amount due on the invoice dated February 22 was $522,664.51, including $362,000 for the RMG 380 (priced at $362 per tonne), $147,490 for the MGO (valued at $602 per tonne), and fees for barging, wharfage, security, as well as a harbour and MTSA fee.

The invoice was addressed to Singapore-based Mansel Pte Ltd, which is the commercial tanker shipping arm of the Vitol Group; and payment was due on March 23.

According to GCC Bunkers, Mansel wired a payment of $495,543.85 on March 23, leaving an outstanding balance of $27,120.66. And despite "amicable demand", the bunker supplier noted in its original complaint, filed on July 5, that the amount continued to remain unpaid and was also accumulating interest at a rate of 6 percent pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions.

GCC Bunkers also observed that the Neverland Angel was expected to be located at or near the port of New Orleans, Louisiana, on July 5, and, referring to the Commercial Instruments and Maritime Liens Act (46 U.S. Code), the bunker firm stressed that it held a maritime lien over the vessel and "may bring in rem and in personam actions to enforce the statutory lien".

GCC Bunkers demanded that the court enter judgment against Mansel Pte. Ltd. in the amount of $27,120.66 plus pre and post-judgment interest, applicable charges and fees, attorneys' fees, and "any other amount as may be proved herein".

In its voluntary dismissal of the case a day later, on July 6, GCC Bunkers stated: "Plaintiff GCC Bunkers, LLC hereby provides notice of the voluntary dismissal without prejudice of all claims asserted by it in the above captioned consolidated lawsuit. Pursuant to the Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, GCC Bunkers, LLC avers that no Defendant has filed an answer or motion for summary judgment to Plaintiff's claims, and that dismissal may therefore be accomplished by filing of the instant Notice."

GCC Bunkers forms part of the Sullivan Interests portfolio of businesses, which also includes Callan Marine and Texas International Terminals. The company launched its physical supply operation in Houston and Galveston in May 2017.

Mansel's parent company, Vitol, owns bunker supplier V-Marine Fuels, is joint (50 percent) owner of bunker firm Cockett, and is a shareholder in Varo Energy, which owns inland marine fuel specialist Reinplus Fiwado Bunker.

According to ship-tracking data, the Neverland Angel arrived at the US Gulf port of Pascagoula - located approximately 100 miles north-east of New Orleans - on July 9.






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