Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has taken American Petroleum Tankers (APT) to court, in a lawsuit alleging a vessel owned by the shipowner crashed into a Louisiana grain elevator, causing $65m in damage.

An arrest warrant has been issued for APT’s 50,000-dwt tanker American Liberty (built 2017), court records show.

'Lost control'

According to the lawsuit filed in New Orleans federal court by ADM on Monday, the tanker lost control on the Mississippi River on 16 May.

The American Liberty went on to hit the MUR Shipping-controlled 61,000-dwt African Griffon (built 2014), in addition to a crane barge and a hopper barge, the court papers allege.

The tanker and two barges continued downriver before slamming into the ADM-owned grain elevator.

Second claim

In addition, the African Griffon’s registered owner, MUR Shipping affiliate African Griffon Shipping, filed a complaint alleging that the crash caused its ship more than $100,000 in damages, plus future income.

It is not known how much damage was suffered by the third ship, the Kotoku Kaiun-controlled 82,000-dwt Ever Grace (built 2015).

APT is a subsidiary of terminal and pipeline giant Kinder Morgan that owns 16 Jones Act tankers. Its fleet is managed by Crowley Maritime, which is not being sued.

New Orleans

Kinder Morgan declined to comment, while Crowley did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

AIS data shows the American Liberty is moored in New Orleans, as is the Ever Grace. The African Griffon is moored further upriver.