Consumption warranty qualified by “about” – overperformance and underperformance defined.
Both the head and sub time charterparties were on the Shelltime 3 form with various additional clauses incorporating Gas Form C. Aside from hire, both contracts were in identical terms.
The relevant provisions were as follows:
“Clause 24. Detailed description and performance
Owners warrant that at the date of delivery under this charter, the vessel shall be of the description set out in Gas Form C attached hereto and signed by them and undertake to use their best endeavours so to maintain the vessel during the period of her service hereunder.
Further but otherwise, without prejudice to the generality of this clause, owners guarantee the average speed of the vessel will be not less than [ ] knots in ballast and [ ] knots fully laden, with a maximum bunker consumption of [ ] tons diesel oil / [ ] tons fuel oil per day for all purposes excluding cargo heating and tank cleaning. See additional clause 42 attached which also overrides any references to over performance herein.
The aforesaid average speed shall be calculated in each yearly or other less period, as defined hereinafter by reference to the observed distance from pilot station to pilot station on all sea passages and over the whole of the time the vessel is on hire during such period…
If during any year from the commencement of the charter period the vessel falls below or exceeds the performance guaranteed in this clause then
(b) If such shortfall or excess results respectively from an increase or a decrease in the vessel’s average daily bunker consumption, as herein defined, in relation to the average daily consumption guaranteed hereunder, hire shall be reduced or increased as may be appropriate by an amount equivalent to the value of the excess or saving in bunkers involved based on the average price paid by Charterers for the vessel’s bunkers in this period.” [emphasis per original]
In the event of any conflict between the particulars set out in the aforesaid form [i.e. Gas Form C] and any other provision (including this clause) of this charter, such other provision shall prevail.
Clause 42: Speed/Consumption.
Speed about 15 knots average
Consumption about 40mts IFO 380 CST at sea plus 0.2 mts GO and about 10 mt IFO 380 CST at port plus 0.2 mt GO.
Otherwise as per Gas Form C
Charterers will not be liable for any over performance of the vessel during the course of this charter party. However, any overperformance will be credited against any underperformance due charterers for the purposes of calculation.
Gas Form C
Guaranteed average speed on a year’s period and max wind force 4 in Beaufort Scale: loaded about 14.5 knots, ballast about 15.5 knots.
A.6 Consumption in metric tons per day
At sea In port
Main engine/HFO 35mt –
Aux. engine/HFO/GO 6/0.2mt 9/0.2mt
Insert gas generator/gasoil 285 kg/h
Additional clauses nos. 41-74, Gas Form C and revised paramount clause, as attached, are deemed to be fully incorporated into this charterparty.”
It was agreed that “about 40mts” gave owners the benefit of a tolerance of 2mts on either side of 40mts i.e. between 38mts and 42mts.
If overperformance was calculated on the value of 38mts there would have been no overperformance. If it was calculated on the value of 42mts there would have been a saving of $653.42mts valued at $206 023.33. This figure exceeded the speed and consumption claim for the first period of the charter. Accordingly, owners wished to offset the balance against the speed and consumption claim for the second period.
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