British dockers refuse to unload tanker of Russian gas in Kent forcing it to dock elsewhere

Vessel was carrying liquified natural gas destined for British Gas owner Centrica amid apparent loophole

Chiara Giordano
Friday 04 March 2022 11:23
Comments
<p>Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) storage tanks are seen at the Grain LNG import terminal on the Isle of Grain, Kent</p>

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) storage tanks are seen at the Grain LNG import terminal on the Isle of Grain, Kent

Dock workers have refused to unload a tanker of Russian gas in Kent as a show of solidarity with Ukraine, a union has said.

The tanker had been due to arrive at a Thames Estuary port in the early hours of Friday morning but was diverted elsewhere following the protest from workers, according to the TUC.

The Boris Vilkitskiy was headed to the Isle of Grain, carrying liquified natural gas destined for Centrica, which owns energy company British Gas.

There is currently a government ban on all Russian-associated ships docking in UK ports in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

But the firm is believed to have used a loophole as the ban does not apply to the origin of cargo.

Dock workers were backed by trade union Unison in refusing to help bring the gas onshore.

Matt Lay, Unison’s national officer for energy, said the government needed to close the loophole as quickly as possible.

He told The Guardian: “This will come as a relief to the Grain terminal workers but while it looks like the union’s intervention has been successful in seeing these ships turned away, a more fundamental problem remains.

“The government must act immediately to close this loophole and stop Russian goods continuing to arrive in the UK under the cover of another country.”

There is also uncertainly over the fate of Russian-chartered tanker Eduard Toll which is currently docked at Belfast port

Other UK-bound tankers have also diverted in recent days following the government ban, which came into force on Monday.

The Fedor Litke LNG tanker, which has also been bound for the Isle of Grain port, changed course late on Tuesday.

That followed the diversion of the NS Champion, an oil tanker operated by Russian shipping company Sovcomflot, which sailed towards Denmark instead.

Boris Vilkitskiy and Fedor Litke are both owned by Greek firm Dynagas, but the owners of the cargo is not publicly available knowledge.

The Boris Vilkitskiy is also managed by Russian company Yamal LNG OAO.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in