Filter maker Bollfilter has won a four-year arbitration against ballast water management system (BWMS) maker OceanSaver over claims about the performance of its wire mesh filters.
In a ruling on 25 July, but only publicised yesterday (17 August), an Arbitral Award was passed at the Place of Arbitration in Copenhagen in which the arbitrators have “fully dismissed OceanSaver AS, Norway’s, claim for compensation against Bollfilter Nordic ApS, Denmark,” a statement issued in Germany by Bollfilter’s parent company Boll & Kirch Filterbau said. OceanSaver AS was ordered to pay all arbitration costs and Bollfilter Nordic ApS' legal costs. The chief executive of Bollfilter Nordic, Robert Jellinggaard, declined to advise BWTT what those costs amount to. OceanSaver did not respond to BWTT’s invitations to comment on the situation.
According to the statement, OceanSaver had claimed that Bollfilter Nordic ApS had delivered defective filtration machines with wire mesh filters to it in 2010/2011. These were included in OceanSaver Mk 1 BWMSs sold to shipyards in South Korea and China for 22 ships, Jellinggaard told BWTT.
Following installation, the filtration machines did not function properly and OceanSaver had claimed that this was due to defects in the filters and that Bollfilter Nordic ApS had acted with gross negligence.
Bollfilter Nordic ApS, on the other hand, “consistently claimed that the filtration machines had been thoroughly tested and were fully functional, and that the problems encountered were attributable to other factors, including inadequate piping on board the vessels,” the statement said. It went on: “Based on the evidence, the tribunal dismissed OceanSaver A/S’ claim in its entirety.”
During the arbitration, several expert reports were obtained and numerous submissions from both parties were submitted, culminating in a seven-day oral hearing in early July in Copenhagen, after which the Arbitration Tribunal delivered its ruling and denied OceanSaver’s request for relief, Mr Jellinggaard said.
In the company’s public statement, he said that the company “never doubted that we would win the arbitration case. Our automatic filters for ballast water stand for first class quality.” With the arbitration concluded, “we are looking forward to again spending all of our time and energy on working with our many customers rather than in a courtroom,” he added.
• OceanSaver’s request for arbitration was made on 8 October 2013, Mr Jellinggaard told BWTT. The contract’s delivery terms specified that all disputes arising out of the contract shall be judged according to the law of the seller’s country, ie Denmark.
OceanSaver appointed Prof Peter Arnt Nielsen as one arbitrator and Bollfilter Nordic appointed Attorney Carsten Pedersen as another arbitrator. Those two requested the president of the Danish Supreme Court to appoint a third and presiding arbitrator – Justice Jens Kruse Mikkelsen.
They laid down the ground rules for the arbitration, including the application of the International Bar Association’s Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration.