A two-week court case has kicked off in Brisbane that could seriously harm the bottom line of the London P&I Club. The Australian government claims that at least A$120m ($91.54m) is needed to “remediate” damage to around 40 ha of the Great Barrier Reef after the 2010 grounding of the Chinese coal carrier Shen Neng One off Gladstone. The ship was owned by Shenzhen Energy and insured by the London P&I Club. One seafarers was jailed following the incident and another fined.
The British insurer is expected to claim that the damage to the reef was not as bad as the government has suggested and will try to limit any pay out to no more than A$25m.
The London P&I Club has had its fair share of casualty headaches to handle this year, not least the grounding and subsequent sinking of the Benita bulk carrier off Mauritius a couple of months ago.