Svitzer, salvor of the Rena, is taking legal action over money it paid to charter a boat to remove oil from the stricken container ship.
And lawyers for Z Energy have applied to the High Court at Wellington to be removed from the action, claiming Z has been caught up in a dispute in which it played no part, between Svitzer and Seafuels, a joint venture of Ports of Auckland and a Hong Kong shipping company.
The application will be heard by Justice Gendall today.
MV Rena, the Greek- owned container ship, ran aground on October 5, 2011, after hitting the Astrolabe reef off the Bay of Plenty coast, causing an environmental disaster when oil and containers went into the sea.
Svitzer, a division of global shipping group Maersk, chartered the Awanuia - an oil tanker that refuels ships calling to the Port of Auckland - using it to remove 1300 tonnes of heavy fuel oil from the Rena.
The agreement came after Z Energy, which charters the boat, agreed to release it for two months. Z Energy also bought the salvaged oil, reprocessing it through the Marsden Point refinery.
According to Z Energy, Svitzer is now trying to reopen the contracted amounts it was to pay to Seafuels for the charter.
Z Energy general counsel Meredith Ussher said the company had negotiated the terms of the release of the Awanuia, and an agreement to buy oil taken from the Rena, directly from Seafuels, and had no direct knowledge of the terms of any agreement between Seafuels and Svitzer.
"We can't presume why we are named in these proceedings other than in error. We're proud of the contribution we've made to the Rena recovery and the way we have gone about it," Ussher said.
"Z Energy has applied to be removed as a party to the litigation, and believes it is up to the other parties to sort out their own commercial dispute."
Svitzer spokesman Matt Watson said the company did not have time to prepare comment last night.
Seafuels' commercial director Peter Dunlop refused to comment.
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