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Great Offshore Salvage Services to auction tanker vessel MT Pavit

Great Offshore Salvage Services will auction tanker vessel MT Pavit as the ship's Dubai-based owners have refused to pay the salvage cost.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 16, 2011, 04.45 AM IST
MUMBAI: Great Offshore Salvage Services, a subsidiary of offshore major Great Offshore, will auction tanker vessel MT Pavit, which drifted to Mumbai shore from Oman, as the ship's Dubai-based owners have refused to pay the salvage cost.

The vessel will be auctioned by Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) in January to recover the salvage cost.

"MMB will now auction the vessel next month. The owners have refused to pay the amount and we hope that we will recover the cost through auction process," said Captain Sandeep Kalia, head of Great Offshore Salvage.

However, if there are unpaid dues even after the auction, MMB will work out the next plan to recover the full amount, which could take some more time, said Kalia.

The 21-year old Panama flagged ship had drifted to Mumbai in July from Ras Al Madrakah in Oman following engine failure and flooding of its engine room.

Great Offshore Salvage had incurred more than Rs 5 crore to salvage the vessel but was unable to recover the amount from the vessel's owners.

The salvager has a right to sell the vessels if the owners do not pay the cost, PC Kapoor, chairman of Great Offshore, had earlier told ET.

People familiar with the matter said Great Offshore Salvage is unlikely to recover the entire salvage cost from the auction and the company may have to recover the full cost from MMB.

Experts said the MT Pavit incident is a first of its kind in the country where the salvagers have been unable to recover their costs.

"This is an exception. The vessel had drifted away from Oman and going by Indian regulations and law, it is difficult to recover money from the owners as the vessel is a foreign flagged one. In such a case, salvage operators are at loss, unless they want to bear extra costs by going to international courts," said Anand Sharma, director, Mantrana Maritime Advisory.

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