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Shenzhen Energy sued by Australian government over 2010 reef grounding

Sydney: A southern Chinese power company is being sued by the Australian federal government over the grounding of a bulk carrier on the Great Barrier Reef five years ago. The government says Shenzhen Energy has refused to stump up the full costs for the damage caused by the grounding of the Shen Neng 1 (built 1993; 70,181 dwt) in April 2010, which damaged about 400,000 sq m of the shoal.

The ship was more than 10 km outside the shipping lane, carrying 65,000 tons of coal, when it struck the reef late in the afternoon of April 3, scraping along the reef for a considerable distance and creating the longest known grounding scar on the Great Barrier Reef.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chief executive Russell Reichelt said the government now had “no alternative but to take legal action” after years of negotiations with Shenzhen Energy have failed to come to an agreement.

A trial has been listed for 15 days of hearings in the Federal Court in April next year.

Shen Neng 1 has since been renamed Jia Yong.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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