Iranian, Norwegian Insurers to Compensate Oil Tanker Blaze

I n the wake of an Iranian oil tanker's collision in East China Sea, Iranian insurers are to compensate 30% of the costs while the rest would be covered by a Norwegian firm, the president of the Central Insurance of Iran announced.

“A Norwegian insurance firm is responsible for covering 70% the tanker’s losses while domestic insurance companies, namely Alborz and Mellat, account for the remaining 20% and 10%, respectively,” Abdolnasser Hemmati was also quoted as saying by CII’s official website.

The official added that half the share of Iranian insurance firms’ risks has been reinsured by the Central Insurance of Iran that also acts as the industry's regulator.

The Iranian tanker, known as Sanchi, was carrying 136,000 tons of condensate from Iran’s Kharg Island to Daesan in South Korea when it collided with a Chinese bulk carrier CF crystal on Sunday morning.

According to Chinese state media, the tanker has been burning and billowing plumes of thick dark smoke, spewing its cargo into the East China Sea by Monday morning.

Hemmati noted that the tanker was run by National Iranian Tanker Company and it is approximately worth $32 million.

According to Hemmati, the Iranian oil tanker had been leased by Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co. Ltd. and they had made a free on board deal with NITC so the Korean side is probably responsible for covering the oil spills of the collision.

“The tanker has been carrying ultra-light crude condensate and the buyer has received the cargo on the deck, therefore it is the Korean company’s responsibility to deal with the pollution resulting from the cargo’s spill,” he said.

Alborz Insurance Company's technical deputy manager also confirmed the matter, noting that the tanker has suffered a total loss that requires the related insurance firms to pay a total sum of $32 million.

“The maximum loss we have to pay is $6.4 million and Mellat Insurance Firm’s share also does not exceed $3.2 million and the remaining $22.4 million will be covered by foreign insurance companies,” Ahmad Safarzadeh also told IBENA.

However, the South Korean company’s spokesman has announced that Hanwha plans to claim compensation for the cargo’s loss under its own insurance program, while the damage caused by the collision will probably be covered under NITC’s policy.

According to AP, China, South Korea and the United States were the first countries to send vessels and planes to search for Sanchi’s missing crew.

This is while NITC’s CEO has recently announced that two ships from their company’s fleet plus another rescue vessel from the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines has been sent to the site of accident to help with the rescue mission.

“Three giant Chinese firefighters have surrounded the tanker and are endeavoring to control the fire but due to the excessive amount of the toxic gas, they cannot get closer to the tanker,” Sirous Kian Ersi said.