Marine Link
Thursday, March 23, 2017

BW Group Grabs Control of Tanker Firm DHT from Fredriksen's Frontline

File photo: DHT Holdings

Shipping tycoons Sohmen Pao, Fredriksen battle over DHT; Sohmen Pao's BW Group becomes top DHT owner with 33.5 percent to surpass Frontline as DHT's top shareholder. The move likely ends Frontline's ambitions to take over DHT, as DHT had twice rejected Frontline's advances. Privately-owned shipping firm BW Group became the top shareholder in tanker firm DHT Holdings on Thursday, in a surprise move that will probably end Frontline's ambitions to take full control of DHT. BW Group…

Daewoo Shipbuilding to Get Fresh $2.6 Bln Bailout

File photo: Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd

South Korean state banks are preparing a fresh $2.6 billion bailout for floundering Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd, which has built up huge losses from offshore projects and risks missing debt repayments. Daewoo, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries are South Korea's top shipbuilders - a massive economic force and a source of national pride. But they slipped into the red in 2015 amid a commodities downturn and bleak trade volumes, prompting cost cuts and asset sales. Of the three, Daewoo's situation is the most difficult.

Trump's Navy: A Look at the Future US Navy

President Donald J. Trump speaks with Sailors in the hangar bay aboard Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). Trump visited to meet with Sailors and shipbuilders of the Navy’s first-in-class aircraft carrier during an all-hands call inside the ship’s hangar bay. (U.S. Navy photo by Joshua Sheppard)

It’s still too early to know for certain what the new administration will do about building up the U.S. Navy, as the numbers are a moving target. But with President Trump’s recent pledge to add $54 billion to defense spending, it’s a safe bet to make that the fleet will grow. So let’s start with the numbers. There are different ways to count the fleet size, including whether or not you count auxiliaries, but let’s use this number as the baseline: There are 274 ships in the U.S. Navy now.

Alternative Ferry Propulsion Systems: A Case Study

M/V Steilacoom II (Credit: Nichol Bros Boat Builders)

Is it Right for Your Operation? That Depends, says EBDG’s John Waterhouse. Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) serves many ferry customers in North America. These clients read the trade publications and see various articles on new technologies such as hybrid propulsion, battery powered vessels or zero emission vessels. After finishing such an article they ask themselves: “What advantages would that technology bring to my operation and what will it cost?” To that end, EBDG developed some tools to help answer those questions.

Maersk Line, Hamburg Sud Offer Merger Concessions to Gain EU Approval

File photo: Hamburg Süd

Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipping firm and part of Danish conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk, has offered concessions to EU antitrust regulators in an attempt to get approval for the takeover of German rival Hamburg Sud. A ruling on the deal, one of several in an industry seeking consolidation to offset low freight rates and oversupply, will now be given by the European Commission by April 10, according to the commission's website on Wednesday. The deadline was…

USS Lake Erie Assists Distressed Mariners

Photo: United States Navy

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) provided assistance to 25 mariners in the early hours of March 19, after receiving a distress call from a civilian ship taking on water. Lake Erie deployed a rescue and assistance team aboard its rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB), and after embarking the distressed vessel, the eight-member team began dewatering the ship and searching for the source of the flooding. "After making sure everyone was alright, we noticed water was coming in at about 1,200 gallons a minute," said Lt.

Arctic Ice Sets New Record Low for Winter

Photo: NOAA

The extent of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has set a new record low for the wintertime in a region strongly affected by long-term trends of global warming, U.S. and European scientists said on Wednesday. Sea ice around the North Pole expands to its biggest extent of the year in February or March after a deep freeze in the winter polar darkness and shrinks to the smallest of the year in September, at the end of the brief Arctic summer. Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual maximum extent on March 7…

Falling Capesize Rates Weigh on Baltic Index

© Martin Lueke / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Wednesday on weaker rates for capesize vessels. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was down 10 points, or 0.83 percent, at 1,190 points. The capesize index lost 63 points, or 2.58 percent, to close at 2,378 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $550 to $17,292.

CNOOC Reports Worst Result Since At Least 2011

File photo: CNOOC

China's offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd reported its worst annual result since at least 2011, with revenue from its core oil and gas business tumbling 17 percent last year, but it expects to raise output 2017 as oil prices rebound. CNOOC reported a net profit of 637 million yuan ($92.5 million) in 2016, down nearly 97 percent from 20.2 billion yuan in profit in 2015. Total revenue from oil and gas fell to 121 billion yuan from 147 billion yuan in 2015. "CNOOC managed to eke out a tiny profit thanks to cost efficiencies and the oil price rebound during 4Q…

Maersk Reaches Key North Sea Tax Deal with Denmark

File photo: Maersk Oil

Shipping and oil company A. P. Moller-Maersk on Wednesday reached an agreement with the Danish state that means it will pay less tax on its North Sea oil and gas activities through 2025. The deal, which has been under negotiation for months, makes it viable to redevelop the Tyra field through which 90 percent of Denmark's gas production is processed, and it is seen as crucial for the Danish company that is seeking to spin off its energy assets via a listing or merger. Maersk and its partners in the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) -- Shell…

Baltic Index Inches Up on Firmer Panamax Rates

Photo: FotoFlite / DS Norden

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, edged up on Thursday as panamax rates increased. The overall index, which also factors in rates for capesize, supramax and handysize vessels, closed up 6 points, or 0.5 percent, at 1,196 points. The panamax index jumped 51 points, or 4.6 percent, its biggest daily percentage gain since March 1, to close at 1,170 points. Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, increased $406 to $9,404.

Statoil Wins Licences Off UK, 'Resets' Exploration Off U.S.

Norway's Statoil was the second top bidder for 13 oil exploration leases in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and won six licences offshore Britain, it said on Thursday, in a sign it may be looking to boost reserves after slashing costs. Statoil bid a total of $44.5 million for 13 licences in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, coming second only to Shell and ahead of Hess Corp, Chevron and Exxon, the latest auction results showed. The company said in a separate statement it had won five new operated licences in the northern North Sea and one in the frontier area west of Scotland, committing to drill at least three wells. Statoil said its bids for licences in the U.S.

Anglo-Eastern Opens BWT Training Facility

Anglo-Eastern, Optimarin and Saga celebrate the opening of the new BWT training facility (Photo: Optimarin)

Global ship management services provider Anglo-Eastern Ship Management has created a unique ballast water treatment (BWT) training facility at its Manila base in the Philippines. Working in conjunction with BWT specialist Optimarin and Saga Shipholding, Anglo-Eastern has built an essential resource for training crews in the wake of the ratification of the IMO’s Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention. The facility, which officially opened this month, features a fully functional Optimarin Ballast System (OBS) at its heart…

VSTEP, Damen Partner for Bahamas Defence Training

Photo: VSTEP

A recent cooperation agreement between Damen and VSTEP has been established for the delivery of a NAUTIS Full Mission Bridge Simulator with Alphatron Marine equipment to the Royal Bahamas Defense Force. The delivery is part of the Sandy Bottom Project, which sees the Defense Force acquire a range of Damen patrol vessels, upgrade its existing fleet and develop its port and base infrastructure. VSTEP, with input from Damen, will develop four simulated vessels for use in its custom simulator.

China Says Hopes New Japanese Carrier Doesn't Mark Return to Militarism

China said on Thursday that it hoped the entry into service of Japan's second big helicopter carrier, the Kaga, did not mean a return to the country's past militaristic history. The ship, along with its sister the Izumo, gives Japan's military greater ability to deploy beyond its shores as it pushes back against China's growing influence in Asia. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that in recent years Japan had exaggerated the "China threat" as an excuse to expand its military. "I also want to say that the Kaga was sunk by the U.S. military in World War Two. Japan should learn the lessons of history," Hua told a daily news briefing.

Multinational Task for Australian Mine Warfare Team

A diver surfaces in Bland Bay as a boat closes in to collect him. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Fifty navy divers and mine warfare specialists from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Britain converged on Bland Bay, New Zealand for Exercise FULCRUM recently. The contingent had to locate and dispose of 16 dummy mines of varying shape, size and weight, set throughout the bay. Australian and British autonomous underwater vehicle teams used remote environmental monitoring units to scan the bay floor and identify mine-like objects. The US and New Zealand then sent out divers to confirm whether or not they were mines…

PensionDanmark, Danica Roll Out $300mln Maritime Investment Fund

Photo: PensionDanmark A/S

PensionDanmark, Danica and Navigare Capital Partners have established the Maritime Investment Fund I, which, based on capital from the founders, shall build a diversified portfolio of maritime assets including dry bulk, container, offshore, product, crude oil and chemical tankers, to put on charter to operators. The fund will be managed by Navigare Capital Partners, which consists of partners with broad based shipping experience. ”The new investment fund will give institutional investors a possibility to invest in a broad portfolio of vessels.

Diana Containerships Launches USD 150 Mln Securities Offering

Photo: Diana Containerships Inc

Diana Containerships, a global shipping company specializing in the ownership of containerships, announced today that the Company has entered into a Securities Purchase Agreement with Kalani Investments, an entity organized in the British Virgin Islands (Kalani) that is not affiliated with the Company, for the sale of 3,000 newly-designated Series B-1 Convertible Preferred Shares, preferred warrants to purchase 6,500 Series B-1 Convertible Preferred Shares and preferred warrants to purchase 140,500 newly-designated Series B-2 Convertible Preferred Shares.

Libyan Oil Output Rises after Port Fighting Ends

Libya's oil production has reached 700,000 barrels per day (bpd), the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Wednesday, recovering from a drop earlier this month caused by fighting at two key oil ports. "We are working very hard to reach 800,000 barrels by the end of April 2017, and, God willing, we will reach 1.1 million barrels next August," NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla was quoted as saying in a statement. The NOC said in a separate statement it hoped to produce 55,000 bpd in the coming weeks from the Abu Attifel and Rimal fields, which are currently closed for maintenance. The fields are operated by Mellitah Oil and Gas, a joint venture between the NOC and Italy's ENI.

Guam Bolsters Oil Spill Recovery Capacity

Photo: Lamor Corporation

Lamor recently commissioned itsLSC 4C Side Collecting Oil Skimming System for Guam’s Oil Spill Response Operations Company (OSROCO) and T&T Marine Salvage (T&T) making it the largest skimming system in the region. OSROCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cabras Marine, and T&T operate the skimming system as well as an array of small crafts, and other specialized response equipment. OSROCO, Cabras and T&T employees are trained and certified in accordance with the U.S. Federal Government’s oil spill response and safety standards.

ICE to Offer First US Gulf Coast LNG Futures Contract

With the United States about to become a net exporter of natural gas for the first time in 60 years, Intercontinental Exchange Inc said on Wednesday it would begin trading the first-ever U.S. liquefied natural gas futures contract in May. ICE said the contracts would be cash-settled against the Platts LNG Gulf Coast Marker price assessment and use Platts-derived U.S. GCM LNG forward curves for daily settlement purposes. The curves will have an initial term of 48 months. "Domestic and international market participants now have a risk-management solution that lays the foundation for a more effective means of hedging their spot and forward exposure," J.C. Kneale, ICE's vice president, North American power and natural gas markets, said in a statement. U.S.

Damen's Mobile BWTS Receives IMO Type Approval

Photo: Damen

Damen said its mobile ballast water treatment system has received type approval from the International Maritime Organization (IMO). An external ballast water treatment unit designed primarily for use in ports and harbors, the Damen InvaSave treats ballast water to the IMO D-2 standard, for ballast water received from inbound ships. It can also deliver water treated to the same standard to outbound vessels. Its mobile, containerized format means that it can be operated from the dockside or from onboard a vessel alongside, receiving or delivering water to a ship.

USS Laboon Makes Second Drug Bust in a Week

Photo: United States Navy

For the second time in five days, guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) intercepted a small, stateless dhow in the international waters of the Arabian Sea and seized 500 kilograms of Hashish, March 17. Laboon, conducting maritime security operations in the region as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 of the Combined Maritime Forces, conducted an inspection of the vessel as part of a flag verification boarding and found the illicit cargo. Lt. Dan Foley, the boarding officer who led the team which made the seizure…

Clean Fortnight Activities in Chidambaranar Port

Photo: V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust

As per the directives of Government of India, the ‘Swachhta Pakhwada” (fortnight-long cleanliness) activities are being executed on priority basis by V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust. As per the scheduled Swachh Pakhwada Action Plan, today, on 20.03.2017, color washing and paintings of residential buildings and structures of Harbour Estate were carried out as per the colour code to ensure healthy environment. Signage boards and posters have also been placed in areas of waste generation and handling.

ABS Exec Delivers Cyber Risk Wakeup Call

Tony Nassif (Photo: ABS)

ABS Chief Operating Officer Tony Nassif shares insights on cyber-related challenges and the role of class at the Connecticut Maritime Association’s annual conference. ABS participated in the 32nd annual CMA Shipping Conference and Exhibition in Stamford, Conn., where ABS Chief Operating Officer Tony Nassif shared his perspective on cyber-related challenges faced by the marine industry. “The main challenge we face is that in our industry not all users of new technology understand the way the software they are using was built…

Shipping Confidence Steady despite Industry, Political Pressures

© Federico Rostagno / Adobe Stock

Shipping confidence held steady in the three months to end-February 2017, according to the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. In February 2017, the average confidence level expressed by respondents was 5.6 out of 10, unchanged from the previous survey in November 2016 and equal to the highest rating since August 2015. Owners were the only main category to show an improved level of confidence, up from 5.4 to 5.6.

Container Shippers Ordered to Testify in US Investigation

File photo: Hapag-Lloyd

The U.S. Justice Department has ordered top executives from several container shipping lines to testify in an antitrust investigation into an industry that is the backbone of global trade, the companies said on Wednesday. The world's biggest container shipper, Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, Germany's Hapag Lloyd, Taiwan-based Evergreen, Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) said their executives were among those who had been subpoenaed. The United States is concerned that the proposed alliances of several major companies…

Effective Harassment Prevention Training

© wanfahmy / Adobe Stock

When is bad harassment prevention training worse than no training at all? When it comes with a wagging finger shaming employees whose only sin is being a little rough around the edges. When it emboldens opportunistic employees to seek an advantage they do not deserve. When it causes managers to cravenly subordinate legitimate operational considerations to political correctness. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not mandate a general civility code. Nor does it prohibit all verbal or physical harassment in the workplace.

Somali Regional Antipiracy Chief Says Sacked over Illegal Fishing Comments

The head of anti-piracy operations in the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia said he had been fired for speaking out about illegal fishing, which he claims could trigger a new outbreak of piracy in the Indian Ocean. Pirates hijacked an oil tanker off Somalia last week, the first such attack in the region since 2012 after shipping firms hired private security and international warships started patrolling nearby waters. Abdirizak Mohamed Dirir, director of anti-piracy operations in Puntland, said the province's president sacked him after he told journalists that permits had been handed to illegal fishing vessels. "The problem with Puntland is that if you talk about illegal fishing, you are seen as a criminal," Dirir told Reuters.

US O&G Industry Reaps the Benefits of International Trade

© Alexandre / Adobe Stock

Rising exports have thrown a lifeline to U.S. shale producers and refiners, giving them an additional outlet at a time when the domestic market has been at risk of becoming saturated. The United States exported record quantities of natural gas, propane, gasoline, distillate fuel oil and light crude last year while continuing to import the heavy oils needed by its refineries. Gas exports increased by almost 30 percent in 2016 and have more than tripled in the last decade, limiting the build up of unused gas and supporting prices in recent months despite the warmest winter on record.

Baltic Index Snaps 14-day Winning Streak

© jieophoto / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, snapped a 14-session winning streak on Tuesday as rates for larger vessels fell. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, closed down 5 points, or 0.41 percent, at 1,200 points. The capesize index lost 25 points, or 1.01 percent, to end at 2,441 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $238 to $17,842.

Clean Shipping on the Great Lakes

Photo: The Interlake Steamship Company

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News recently spoke with Mark Barker, president of The Interlake Steamship Company, who has sent its fourth vessel — its second 1,000-footer — to be outfitted with exhaust gas scrubbers. After seriously pursuing the possibility of converting its ships to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) several years ago, U.S. based Great Lakes shipper The Interlake Steamship Company found that the region’s LNG infrastructure was simply not present to support such conversions.

Thessaloniki Port Workers Plan Stoppage to Protest Port Sale

Photo: Thessaloniki Port Authority

Workers at Greece's second-biggest port, Thessaloniki Port, will walk off their job for a few hours on Wednesday to protest the port's sale, a key condition of the country's international bailout. The sale was launched in 2014 but has been plagued by delays and political resistance. As part of its privatisation drive under its latest bailout, Greece has given investors until March 24 to submit binding bids for a 67 percent stake in the port and taking over its operation for 40 years.

SM Group Mulls More Takeovers

Photo: SM Line Corp

South Korea’s Samra Midas Group (SM Group) said that it is looking to acquire some overseas shippers, among other businesses in an effort to expand its foothold in the maritime sector, Yonhap News Agency cited one of the company’s officials. SM Group, which was picked as the preferred bidder for STX Corp., a general trading company, last week, also purchased the now-defunct Hanjin Shipping Co.'s U.S.-Asia route and other assets for 37 billion won (US$32 million) late last year. SM Group plans to pour 130 billion won ($115 million) into STX.

Emas Offshore Braces for Ezra’s Bankruptcy

Lee Kian Soo, Executive Chairman Photo: EMAS Offshore

The EMAS Offshore (EOL) board of directors warns that the Chapter 11 filing of parent company Ezra Holdings  may negatively impact EOL and its subsidiaries, which could possibly lead it to face a going concern issue. As at 30 November 2016, the Group had an aggregate amount of approximately US$170 million owing to Ezra, of which US$125 million was subject to a deferred payment over a period of three years, says a statement from the company. In addition, the Group has an aggregate of approximately US$566 million of loans owing to financial institutions.

DP World’s Net Income Exceed USD 1 Bln for First Time

DP World London Gateway. Photo: DP World

Dubai-based port and terminal operator DP World announced strong financial results from its global portfolio for the twelve months ending 31 December 2016, despite “significant challenges” in the industry. On a reported basis, revenue grew 4.9% and adjusted EBITDA increased 17.4% with adjusted EBITDA margin of 54.4%, delivering profit attributable to owners of the Company, before separately disclosed items, of $1,127 million, up 27.6%, and EPS of 135.7 US cents. Its volumes have continued to grow ahead of the market with gross volumes growing 3.2% vs. Drewry full year market estimate of 1.3%.

Market Volatility Affects Sovcomflot

Tanker SCF Baltica. Photo:  PAO Sovcomflot

Sovcomflot is one of the world’s leaders in energy shipping as well as in servicing offshore upstream oil and gas projects. It has reported lower time charter equivalent revenue (TCE) of USD 1,142.2 million (2015: USD 1,240.1 million), EBITDA of USD 706.5 million (2015: USD 780.1 million) and net profit of USD 206.8 million (2015: USD 354.5 million). Sergey Frank, President and CEO of Sovcomflot said: “Sovcomflot has delivered a solid set of results for 2016, despite market volatility in a year that has severely tested our industry.

Australian Navy: Torpedo Firings on the Mark

Photo: Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy has tested its primary anti-submarine warfare weapon during Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER off the coast of Western Australia recently. HMAS Melbourne, with the support of Collins class submarine HMAS Dechaineux, conducted three exercise firings of its MU90 torpedo. Staff Officer Force Anti-Submarine Warfare Lieutenant Commander Chris Straughan from the Australian Maritime Warfare Centre embarked in Melbourne for the trial. Lieutenant Commander Straughan said the torpedo was designed to counter any type of nuclear or conventional submarine.

Bulkcarrier Fleet Growth In Limbo?

Graph: Clarksons Research

The pace of bulkcarrier fleet growth has fallen sharply since 2010, when the fleet grew by a record 17%, says a Clarksons Research report. In 2016, the supply side response to difficult market conditions saw the bulker fleet grow at the slowest pace so far this century, while current projections also indicate a further easing in the near future. Given the range of possible scenarios, the question is how low (or high) could bulkcarrier fleet growth go? Against a backdrop of oversupply built up over several years, average bulker earnings hit a 14-year low of $6,218/day in 2016.

Alfa Laval Continues to Develop PureSOx

Alfa Laval Test & Training Center in Aalborg, Denmark (Photo: Alfa Laval)

Alfa Laval’s SOx scrubber platform PureSOx is available in multiple operating arrangements, two scrubber designs and a range of compliance profiles for meeting the 2020 global sulphur cap. Working closely with customers, Alfa Laval said it is pursuing improvements and options to make it even more flexible and optimized. PureSOx was launched in 2012 to let vessels meet SOx limits while continuing to use economical heavy fuel oil. In the years since, it has evolved into a highly flexible scrubber platform, fully prepared for the 2020 global sulphur cap.

Fishing Vessel Captain Pleads Guilty to Pollution Charges

A captain of the fishing vessel (F/V) Native Sun pleaded guilty in federal court in Seattle for discharging oily-waste directly into the ocean in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and the federal conspiracy statute. Randall Fox pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Lasnik of the Western District of Washington to two criminal felony counts for violating APPS’ prohibition against discharging oily-wastes, namely machinery-space bilge water, directly into the ocean. According to court documents, Randall Fox and other coconspirators repeatedly discharged the oil-contaminated bilge water into the ocean using unapproved submersible pumps and hoses.

OP/Ed: Obama’s Arctic Decision Undercut His Own Legacy

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

On December 20, 2016, in an 11th hour unilateral action designed to cement his environmental legacy, President Obama withdrew 3.8 million acres in the north and mid-Atlantic Ocean and 115 million acres in the U.S. Arctic Ocean (including the entire Chukchi Sea and a significant portion of the Beaufort Sea) from future oil and gas leasing. Unlike the five year moratoria announced by Canada, President Obama touted these closures as “permanent.” Not only does this short-sighted decision threaten the economic lifeline of Alaska, U.S. energy leadership and U.S.

Singapore's Fourth Littoral Mission Vessel Launched

The launching of the fourth Littoral Mission Vessel - Justice, built by ST Marine for the Republic of Singapore Navy (Photo: ST Marine)

Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd (ST Marine), the marine arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering), launched the fourth Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV), Justice, designed and built for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). The ceremony was officiated by Dr. Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Senior Minister of State (Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs), who took on the role as the lady sponsor in accordance with naval traditions to name and launch the vessel at ST Marine’s Benoi Yard.

Borr Drilling Scoops up Transocean Rigs for $1.4 Bln

Borr Drilling, founded by former executives of financially troubled Seadrill, has snapped up Transocean's fleet of shallow-water drilling rigs for $1.35 billion. The rig market deal is Borr's biggest since it was set up last year by Tor Olav Troeim and other executives who had left Seadrill, once the jewel in the crown of Norwegian-born shipping tycoon John Fredriksen but now battling with $14 billion in debt and liabilities. After years at Fredriksen's side, Troeim split with him in 2014. Since then Troeim has re-established himself as an independent player in the global shipping market with a high profile and a reputation for successful capital raising. Transocean, executives at Borr Drilling and Troeim were not immediately available for comment.

Ezra Holdings Files for Bankruptcy in US

Pic: Ezra Holdings

Oilfield services firm Ezra Holdings of Singapore filed for U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the weekend, blaming a prolonged slump in the energy industry, Reuters reported. Ezra  has been facing hostile actions from creditors at home and abroad as it struggles to recover from a slump in oil prices over the past three years. The company filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code, according to a stock exchange filing on Sunday. Ezra will…

Mazagon Docks to Make 3 more Scorpene-Class Subs

Photo: Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders

Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited has approached the Indian Navy with a repeat order for three Scorpene-class submarines, reports The Hindu Businessline. The leading shipyard of the country has  French shipbuilder DCNS as its technology partner for the Scorpene submarines. Like the first six Scorpenes, the three new submarines would also be manufactured at the Mumbai site, and would be equipped with a new anaerobic propulsion system (AIP) developed by the DRDO. The report says that six Scorpene submarines were ordered in 2005…

Total Seeking to Buy Stake in Iranian LNG Project

Photo: Total

French oil giant Total held talks with Iranian officials about several projects in the country in 2016, notably a 10 million tonnes per year liquefied natural gas project (LNG), Reuters reported. It has signed an agreement with Iranian authorities for a 50 per cent stake  in Iran’s South Pars gas field project which will developed at an investment of $4 billion. Sources told Reuters in February that Total was in talks to buy a multi-billion dollar stake in Iran's partly-built LNG export facility.

BAE Systems to Modernize Cruiser USS Vicksburg

Photo: BAE Systems

BAE Systems will perform ship alternations and miscellaneous repairs aboard the 567-foot-long USS Vicksburg (CG 69) under a $42.9 million U.S. Navy contract. The value of the competitively awarded contract could reach $45.9 million if all options are exercised. Under the special selected restricted availability (SSRA) contract, BAE Systems will perform ship alternations and miscellaneous repairs aboard the 567-foot-long ship, including the replacement of critical aluminum structures.

Jal Marg Vikas Project Takes Off in India

Image:  Inland Waterways Authority of India

The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) on National Waterway-1 (NW-1) is being implemented with the financial and technical support of the World Bank. The Project envisages preparation of Disaster Management Plan (DMP) and Emergency Management Plan (EMP) to take care of activities like navigation, terminal and jetty operation, oil spill, disaster contingency, etc. after the commissioning of the project and while operating cargo and passenger vessels on NW-1. The Project entails development…

DryShips Completes Common Stock Offering

File Photo: DryShips Inc

DryShips Inc. has successfully completed the previously announced $200 million common stock offering, in which the Company raised net proceeds of $198 million, pursuant to the prospectus supplement filed on February 17, 2017. Following the completion of the offering, the Company has approximately 152,055,576 common shares outstanding. George Economou, Chairman and CEO commented: "We are very pleased to have successfully raised an additional $198 million of equity, which will increase our total available liquidity to about $455 million.

India Bags USD 6.22 bln Investment in Ports and Water Transport Sector

Indian Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari. Photo: Official FB Page

Foreign Direct Investment upto 100% under automatic route is already permitted in the Port Sector. This has resulted in several Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects coming up in the Major Ports. At present, a total of 33 PPP Projects with an investment of INR 17817.96 crore (USD 2.8 bln) are operational and 20 more PPP projects with an investment of Rs. 22362.67 cr (USD 3.42 bln) are under implementation. In total it comes to USD 6.22 bln. As regards inland water transport sector…

TEN Strengthens Vessel Base

Photo: Tsakos Energy Navigation

Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN)'s growth has continued unabated in 2017 with the delivery of one VLCC, the Hercules I, one aframax tanker the Marathon TS and the shuttle tanker Lisboa, currently all under long-term employment to solid counterparties. These came on the back of nine vessels that were delivered or acquired in 2016 and will be followed in 2017 by the last four, of nine, aframaxes that were built against long-term employment to a Norwegian oil major. With the delivery of these remaining high-end aframaxes…

Transportation Electrification Arrives at the Waterfront

Credit: Clean Air Engineering - Maritime (CAEM)

Transportation electrification (TE) is starting to impact California like no other state, maybe unlike any other place in the world. Essentially, and eventually, TE depends on replacing gasoline and diesel engines with renewably generated electric power. This could include just about every car, truck, fork lift, drayage vehicle, train and ship in California. For the freight industry, including the maritime sector, TE presents complex challenges. In recent months, CA has started wrestling with “heavy-duty” freight transportation electrification.

Finnish Firms Present Oil Recovery Project Results

Hanna Suutarla, Arctia’s Development Manager, presents the results of the IMOR Project. (Photo: Arctia)

A recent seminar held March 7 and 8 in Porvoo, Finland, saw Finnish companies Arctia and Lamor Corporation present the results of the IMOR (Ice Management & Oil Recovery) project, which seeks to enhance oil recovery in ice conditions. The oil recovery seminar, arranged by icebreaking services provider Arctia in collaboration with oil spill response specialist Lamor, was opened by the company’s respective CEOs, Tero Vauraste and Fred Larsen. In his speech, Vauraste stated that oil recovery is a key part of Arctia’s range of services.

Marlink Acquires IT Management Partner Palantir

Marlink has acquired Palantir AS, a Norway-based maritime IT company specializing in remote IT management solutions. The Share Purchase Agreement whereby Marlink acquired 100 percent of Palantir AS shares was completed on March 17, 2017. Palantir provides IT managers on shore with access to individual vessels or entire fleets for remote support and management of on board IT networks. Marlink and Palantir already collaboratep through a strategic partnership agreement started in September 2014, which has enabled Marlink to deliver integrated IT management services to its Sealink multi-band communications service customers, including Stolt Tankers and CMA CGM.

Strong Capesize Rates Keep Baltic Index at over 3-month High

© lidian neeleman / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose to a fresh over three-month peak on Friday as capezise rates rallied. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, rose 24 points, or 2.05 percent, to 1,196 points - its best since early December. The index, which has risen for the 13th straight session, was up about 40 percent since its previous fall on Feb. 28, when it broke a nine-session winning streak. The capesize index rose for the 12th straight session.

Damen Secures Nigerian Patrol Vessel Order

Photo: Damen Group

Just over a year after it took delivery of the second of two FCS 3307 Patrol vessels, Homeland Integrated Offshore Services Limited (Homeland) of Nigeria has ordered one more of the same class with an option on a second, to be named Guardian 3 and Guardian 4. Like their two predecessors, the two vessels are being supplied as a turnkey solution. The Damen Group is taking care of delivery and crew training, as well as the design and build. Damen’s Local Service Hub in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, will ensure that maintenance, repairs and any additional support is handled by Damen engineers.

Hapag-Lloyd Postpones UASC Takeover

Photo: UASC

German container shipper Hapag-Lloyd on Friday postponed the completion date for its takeover of United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) to May 31 from March 31, but said the deal, worth 7 to 8 billion euros ($7.52-8.60 billion), was not at risk. All merger clearances and regulatory approvals and all necessary banking approvals from Hapag's side have been obtained as have most banking approvals from Dubai-based UASC’s side, it said. Delays in finalising a deal set to create one of…

USCG Commandant Delivers State of the Coast Guard Address

U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft  (Photo: USCG)

U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft delivered the 2017 State of the Coast Guard Address at the National Press Club Thursday. This was Adm. Zukunft's third State of the Coast Guard Address and he emphasized the service as a unique instrument of national security. First and foremost an armed service, the Coast Guard is the only branch of the U.S. armed forces that has broad law enforcement authorities and a portfolio of more than 60 bi-lateral agreements that extend around the globe, Zukunft said.

Martek Named on EU Maritime Drone Contract

Photo: Martek

Martek Marine (Martek) has been awarded a two-year Remotely Piloted Aircraft Services (RPAS) contract from the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The services offered will fulfil part of the world’s largest ever maritime drone contract. Part of a five-year EMSA strategy of improving coastguard monitoring and surveillance of maritime activity valued at €67 million, the service provision from Martek not only includes the RPAS, commonly known as drones, but also the pilots, long-range antennae, mission control vehicles and ground crew.

North Korean Bulkers Stranded as China Enforces Sanctions

At least ten North Korean ships have arrived at a Chinese port after being stranded for the past three weeks following the top global coal consumer's ban on imports of the fuel from its isolated neighbour, a report said on Friday. Six North Korean merchant vessels, including Sai Nal 3 and Jin Hung, entered the port of Longkou in China's eastern Shandong province as of Thursday, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Friday, citing a Voice of America report. Reuters ship tracking data shows that Sai Nal 3 from North Korea has been moored at the port for at least the past three weeks. It is listed at maximum draft, meaning it is likely fully laden with cargo.

Skilled Workers Needed to Build Trump's Navy Vision

File Image: AdobeStock CREDIT Bogdan Vasilescu

U.S. President Donald Trump says he wants to build dozens of new warships in one of the biggest peace-time expansions of the U.S. Navy. But interviews with ship-builders, unions and a review of public and internal documents show major obstacles to that plan. The initiative could cost nearly $700 billion in government funding, take 30 years to complete and require hiring tens of thousands of skilled shipyard workers - many of whom don't exist yet because they still need to be hired and trained, according to the interviews and the documents reviewed. Trump has vowed a huge build-up of the U.S.

Asia Tankers-VLCC Weighed by Excess Tonnage

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

MidEast, West Africa rates diverge; oil output curbs in Iraq and West Africa could weigh on tanker market. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are likely to remain under pressure with hire rates from the Middle East to Asia tracking lower in the face of excess tonnage in the market, brokers said. Cuts in the output from Iraq and West Africa this month as part of an agreement between oil producers to curb crude production to bolster oil prices are also expected to weigh on the tanker market as the number of voyages are curtailed, brokers said.

Capacity Building for Sustainable Shipping

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s response to the needs of developing countries for building capacity and facilitating technology transfer to promote low-carbon shipping was highlighted at the Environmental Sustainable Shipping Industry Conference (ESSIC), held in Panama City, Panama (14 March). The international conference was held in parallel with the Panama Maritime XIII World Conference and Exhibition. IMO’s Jose Matheickal talked through the Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships Project (GloMEEP) funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF)…

Singapore Supports ReCAAP ISC’s Roadmap for the Future

Governors and Representatives of Contracting Parties at the 11th ReCAAP ISC Governing Council Meeting. Photo: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

Singapore endorsed the roadmap and strategies to strengthen Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery (ReCAAP)  Information Sharing Centre (ISC) as a Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing on piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia by 2020. Singapore, as a Contracting Party to the ReCAAP and host to the ReCAAP ISC, has participated in the 11th Governing Council meeting held from 14-16th March 2017. The Roadmap was the result of several rounds of consultations and discussions amongst Governors…

Trinidad and Tobago: Focus on Security Drills and Exercises

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

International Maritime Organization (IMO) is conducting an Advanced Drills and Exercises Workshop for inspectors and officers responsible for port security in Trinidad and Tobago. The training, underway in Port of Spain (14-17 April), is focusing on the key IMO instrument for enhancing the security of ships and port facilities – the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. The Code’s preventive security provisions include the objective of all actors being thoroughly prepared for security incidents and terrorist attacks by regularly conducting regular drills and exercises.

CMA CGM Supports Le Carburateur

Photo: CMA CGM

CMA CGM, a leading worldwide shipping group, and le Carburateur, an incubator for small companies in the Marseille Northern Area in France, team up to stimulate entrepeneurship and job creation in the city. Under the guidance of Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM ‘s Chief Executive Officer, the company will offer all incubation costs within Le Carburateur to five newly created companies from the Marseille area. A jury, chaired by Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM’s CEO, will select five newly created companies related to the maritime…

Indian Shipping Ministry Observes Swacchta Drive

Photo:  Ministry of Shipping

The Ministry of Shipping, India will observe 'Swacchta Pakhwada' (Cleanliness Drive)  from 16th March, 2017 to 31st March, 2017. The special occasion of "World Water Day" (22.03.2017) falls within the fortnight of Swacchta Pakhwada. All organizations under the administrative control of Ministry of Shipping have been instructed to undertake 33 activities which mainly include removing/ weeding out of old records and files, auction & disposal of all unserviceable items, modernizing all toilet complexes in the operational area and cleaning all the toilets…

Somali Pirates Release Hijacked Ship, Crew without Ransom

Aris 13 (Photo: EU Naval Force)

Somali pirates released a hijacked oil tanker and its eight Sri Lankan crew on Thursday, a Somali security official and the pirates said, bringing the first hijacking since 2012 to an unusually swift conclusion without the payment of a ransom. The release followed a gunfight earlier in the day between the pirates and the marine force, and then intensive negotiations between the marine force, clan elders and the pirates. "There has been discussion going on after the gunfight of this afternoon ...

Major Containership Drugs Bust in the Mediterranean

Customs inspectors in Malta have seized more than 300 kg (660 lb) of cocaine worth millions of euros on a container ship heading from Ecuador to Spain, Maltese officials said on Thursday. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat hailed the find as the biggest drugs seizure in the history of the Mediterranean island. "Well done to Customs and law enforcement authorities," he said in a tweet. The customs department said it had discovered the cocaine stuffed in black hold-all bags in a container that was meant to be holding canned pineapple. The unnamed ship had sailed from Ecuador and had docked at Malta Freeport. It was due to double back to Spain. "It is estimated that the haul has a street value of tens of millions of euro," the customs department said, without giving a precise figure.

Baltic Index Hits Over 3-month Peak on Capesize Rally

© a_medvedkov / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose to an over three-month high on Thursday, buoyed by a surge in capesize vessel activity. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, climbed 25 points, or 2.18 percent, to its highest since Dec. 6 of 1,172 points. The capesize index rose 129 points, or 6 percent, to 2,265 points, its best since the end of November.

EU Lawmakers Reject Call for Ban on Arctic Oil Exploration

© ggw / Adobe stock

The European Parliament rejected a call to ban Arctic oil and gas exploration on Thursday, in a symbolic vote seen as a barometer for future moves by Brussels to regulate to protect the region. Lawmakers who back the ban, which had drawn the ire of Norway, say the European Union needs a strategy for future developments in a region being transformed by climate change. Lawmakers voted 414-180 to reject the non-binding motion calling for the European Commission and member states to work with international forums towards "a future total ban on the extraction of Arctic oil and gas".

China Pledges Firm Response to Japan's S.China Sea Visit

China on Thursday pledged a firm response if Japan stirs up trouble in the South China Sea, after Reuters reported on a Japanese plan to send its largest warship to the disputed waters. The Izumo helicopter carrier, commissioned only two years ago, will make stops in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka before joining the Malabar joint naval exercise with Indian and U.S. naval vessels in the Indian Ocean in July, sources told Reuters. The trip would be Japan's biggest show of naval force in the region since World War Two. "If Japan persists in taking wrong actions, and even considers military interventions that threaten China's sovereignty and security...

Somali Force, Pirates Exchange Gunfire

Somali maritime forces have exchanged gunfire with the hijackers of an oil tanker in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, the head of the maritime force said. This is the first time Somali pirates have taken over a commercial ship since 2012 and locals blame the attack on foreign fishermen flooding into their waters, and are also angry with their government for licensing some of the ships. "We tried to intercept a boat that was carrying supplies to the pirates, but pirates on the ship fired on us and so the pirate boat escaped," said Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, the director general of the maritime force in Puntland. Pirate Abdulaahi claimed the pirates killed a member of the marine force and injured another, but Hassan said that was untrue.

Adelaide’s Fighting Edge Tested

HMAS Adelaide leads a close formation of warships from the Royal Australian Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy and the Spanish Armada during a photographic exercise, part of Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER 17, off the western coast of Australia. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy’s amphibious ship HMAS Adelaide lead from the front during the recent Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER. Exercising task group operations off the Western Australian coast, the landing helicopter dock was the centrepiece to war-fighting scenarios. En-route to the ‘war-zone’, the crews of Australian, New Zealand and Spanish Navies experienced realistic attacks by ‘enemy’ cruise missiles from aircraft and ground-based locations during the high-end warfare serials. During the first air-strike…

Carl Vinson Strike Group Arrives in the Republic of Korea

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Photo: US Navy

Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) arrived in Busan, Republic of Korea (ROK) for a scheduled port visit, March 15. The Carl Vinson Strike Group completed two weeks of routine operations in the South China Sea and will continue on their regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment after departing Busan. Assets from the USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group and…

IMO Secretary-General Urges Vigilance after Tanker Hijack

Official photograph of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim

In the wake of the recent hijacking of tanker Aris 13 off Puntland, Somalia, International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim urged the shipping industry to be vigilant and apply diligently IMO guidance and best management practices to avert possible piracy attacks. “While we have seen a very welcome decline in piracy off Somalia since the last reported hijack by Somali pirates in 2012, the reality is that piracy off the coast of Somalia has not been eradicated and the underlying conditions have not changed,” Lim said.

Baltic Index Gains on Robust Capesize Rates

© EvrenKalinbacak / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, jumped to a more-than-three-month high on Wednesday, as rates for capesize vessels soared. The overall index, which also factors in rates for panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, ended up 35 points, or 3.15 percent, at 1,147 points, its highest since Dec. The capesize index increased 207 points, or 10.73 percent, to close at 2,136 points, its biggest gain since early December.

Seagull, DNV GL Offer Cyber Security Training

Anita Oestmann, DNV GL and Roger Ringstad, Seagull Maritime. Photo T.Aas, Seagull Maritime 2017 (Photo: DNV-GL & Seagull Maritime)

Cyber security threats have increased over the past few years in the maritime industry. Together with DNV GL, Seagull now offers an immediate solution to help train staff to be cyber secure. With the increasing use of systems with embedded software on ships and mobile offshore platforms, cyber security is becoming critical not only for data protection, but also for reliable operations. According to Symantec Security Response, “You don’t need as many technical skills to find one person who might be willing…

Pirates Demand Ransom for Tanker Seized off Somalia

Pirates off the coast of Somalia, who hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board, are demanding a ransom for the release of the vessel, the EU Naval Force said. The pirates seized the Comoros-flagged Aris 13 tanker on Monday, the first such hijacking in the region since 2012, and took it to the port of Alula in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland. "The EU Naval Force ... has received positive confirmation from the master of ... Aris 13, that his ship and crew are currently being held captive by a number of suspected armed pirates in an anchorage off the north coast of Puntland, close to Alula," the force said in a statement late on Tuesday.

JNPCT Achieves Record Performance

Photo: Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal (JNPCT) handled 14,29,936 TEUS of cargo till March 7 as compared to 14,29,277 TEUs, registering a growth of 7.6 per cent. "JNPCT, one of the four terminals at JNPort which is directly managed by Port authority, handled 14,29,936 TEUS (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit) till March 7, surpassing last year record of 14,29,277 TEUs and registering 7.6 per cent YoY growth in cargo throughput," the Ministry of Shipping said in a statement. In a major attempt to rise above conventional standards and achieve high benchmarks…

US Ship Seizes Heroin in Arabian Sea

Official U.S. Navy file photo

USS Laboon (DDG 58) intercepted a small stateless dhow in the international waters of the Arabian Sea March 13, seizing 270 kilograms of heroin. Laboon, conducting maritime security operations in the region as a part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 of the Combined Maritime Forces, was conducting an inspection of the vessel as part of a flag verification boarding when the illicit cargo was found. "Keeping these drugs off the street helps everyone, and keeps money from those who use the profits for harm," said Cmdr. Jason Labott, Laboon's commanding officer.

Somali Pirates Demand Ransom for Aris 13

File photo: Euronav

The EU anti-piracy operation in the Horn of Africa  region said that  Pirates are demanding a ransom for the release of the Comoros-flagged oil tanker Aris 13 seized off the coast of Somalia and the crew is being held captive, the AP reported. An EU naval force statement said the operation had finally made contact with the ship’s master, who confirmed that armed men were onboard the 1,800 dwt ship. The reported seizure Monday of the ship, which was the first such seizure of a large commercial vessel off Somalia since 2012…

Somalia Region Sends Soldiers to Free Hijacked Ship

Somali forces have been sent to free a hijacked ship, a regional police official said on Tuesday.   "We are determined to rescue the ship and its crew. Our forces have set off to Alula. It is our duty to rescue ships hijacked by pirates and we shall rescue it," Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, director general of Puntland’s marine police forces, told Reuters by phone.   Puntland is a semi-autonomous northern region. Alula is a port town there where pirates have taken the Aris 13 and her eight Sri Lankan crew. (Reporting by Abdiqani Hassan; editing by Andrew Roche; writing by Katharine Houreld) 

Russia Plans Sovcomflot Privatization in First Half

File photo: Sovcomflot

Russia plans to reduce its holdings in the state shipping company Sovcomflot in the first half of this year, Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin told reporters on Tuesday. He said the sale would be split between new and existing shares so the company can raise funds for its own development. Oreshkin was speaking in Paris after meeting the French finance minister Michel Sapin and representatives of Franco-Russian business lobby. "The deal on Sovcomflot suggests participation of a wide circle of investors ...

Maersk Tankers to Trial Rotor Sails

Maersk P-Class Illustration with two 30x5 Norsepower Rotor Sails (Photo: Maersk Tankers / Norsepower)

Norsepower Oy Ltd. in partnership with Maersk Tankers, The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), and Shell Shipping & Maritime, have announced that it will install and trial Flettner rotor sails onboard a Maersk Tankers-owned vessel. The project will be the first installation of wind-powered energy technology on a product tanker vessel, and will provide insights into fuel savings and operational experience. The rotor sails will be fitted during the first half of 2018, before undergoing testing and data analysis at sea until the end of 2019.

Baltic Index Up for 10th Straight Session

© momentscatcher / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose for a tenth straight session on Tuesday, helped by higher rates for capesize vessels. The overall index, which also factors in rates for panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, ended up 13 points, or 1.18 percent, at 1,112 points. The capesize index gained 86 points, or 4.67 percent, to close at 1,929 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $607 to $14,250, the highest level since Dec.

Wärtsilä to Optimize Performance for Songa Offshore Drill Rigs

Photo: Wärtsilä

The technology group Wärtsilä has signed a five-year technical management and services agreement with Songa Offshore for four Cat-D type semi-submersible drilling rigs operating in the North Sea. Through the partnership with Wärtsilä, Songa Offshore ensures optimal performance and maximum availability of the Wärtsilä engines and thrusters on board the drilling rigs, which operate in extremely harsh conditions. This is possible with real-time knowledge of the actual condition of the equipment, provided by Wärtsilä's digital offering.

Thordon’s SeaThigor up for Environmental Award

SeaThigor, the forward propeller shaft seal Thordon Bearings introduced to the market last year, has been nominated in the technology category of the Green4Sea awards, which will take place in Athens this April. Officially unveiled at Hamburg’s SMM exhibition, last September, the SeaThigor forward seal has been cited as “raising the bar in dynamic and static seal design”. It incorporates an ingenious secondary seal module to provide Safe-Return-To-Port capability in the event of a face failure of the primary seal. A pneumatically activated inflatable element prevents water ingress along the shaft, allowing for the repair of the main seal whilst at sea, or for the shaft to turn at a lower speed so the vessel can safely return to port for primary seal repair or replacement.

Entire Saga Fleet Globally BWT Compliant

All of Saga's advanced open hatch carriers are now globally BWT compliant (Photo courtesy of Optimarin)

Saga Shipholding has completed the installation of Optimarin Ballast Systems (OBS) throughout its entire fleet of 32 advanced open hatch cargo vessels. In doing so, Saga has become the world’s first shipowner to fit ballast water treatment (BWT) systems that are USCG compliant throughout a fleet of this magnitude. Saga originally chose BWT specialist Optimarin as its supplier of choice in 2011, installing its first system, on-board Saga Future in 2012. Since that point it has rolled the UV-based and environmentally friendly treatment units out across its fleet…

China Asks: Why is Japanese Warship Going to South China Sea?

The Bridge of JDS Kirishima in JMSDF Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. She is a Kongo-class guided missile destroyer in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. CREDIT: JPAaron AdobeStock

China said on Tuesday it was waiting for an official word on why Japan plans to send its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea, but that it hopes Japan can be responsible. China claims almost all the disputed waters and its growing military presence has fuelled concern in Japan and the West, with the United States holding regular air and naval patrols to ensure freedom of navigation. The Izumo helicopter carrier, commissioned only two years ago, will make stops in Singapore…

Somali Pirates Hijack First Ship since 2012

Pirates have hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board, Somali authorities said on Tuesday, the first time a commercial ship has been seized in the region since 2012. Security forces have been sent to free the Aris 13, a regional police official said late on Tuesday. "We are determined to rescue the ship and its crew. Our forces have set off to Alula. It is our duty to rescue ships hijacked by pirates and we shall rescue it," Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, director general of Puntland’s marine police forces, told Reuters by phone. Puntland is a semi-autonomous northern region of Somalia. Alula is a port town there where pirates have taken the tanker. Experts said the ship was an easy target and ship owners were becoming lax after a long period of calm.

Daewoo Shipbuilding Seeking Stake Sale in Non-Core Assets

File Photo: Photo: Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering

South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co (DSME)  is accelerating its move to  sell all non-core assets o beef up its financial status amid concerns over a sharp fall in new orders, Yonhap reported quoting industry sources. DSME has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to sell its building in downtown Seoul, a deal valued at US$30 million, the report said. The shipbuilder also put one of its affiliates up for sale, whose price tag is set at some 18 billion won, with the two cases of asset sales expected to be completed by April.

Arctic Ice Loss Driven by Natural Swings, Not Just Mankind -Study

© z576 / Adobe Stock

Natural swings in the Arctic climate have caused up to half the precipitous losses of sea ice around the North Pole in recent decades, with the rest driven by man-made global warming, scientists said on Monday. The study indicates that an ice-free Arctic Ocean, often feared to be just years away, in one of the starkest signs of man-made global warming, could be delayed if nature swings back to a cooler mode. Natural variations in the Arctic climate "may be responsible for about 30–50 percent of the overall decline in September sea ice since 1979…

Subsea 7 Acquires Seaway Heavy Lifting

Photo: Seaway Heavy Lifting

Specialist offshore contractor Seaway Heavy Lifting, a 50/50 joint venture between Subsea 7 S.A. and K&S Baltic Offshore (Cyprus) Limited, is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Subsea 7. Subsea 7 said it acquired the remaining 50 percent shareholding in Seaway Heavy Lifting Holding Limited and its subsidiaries on March 10, 2017 for a cash consideration of $279 million on completion and an additional consideration of up to $40 million to be paid in 2021 on the condition that certain performance targets are met.

Baltic Index Up for Ninth Straight Session

© Volodymyr Kyrylyuk / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose for a ninth straight session on Monday, helped by stronger capesize rates. The overall index, which also factors in rates for panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, ended up 13 points or 1.2 percent at 1,099 points. The capesize index gained 54 points, or 3.02 percent, to close at 1,843 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $412 to $13,643.

Libyan NOC Official Warns of Force Majeure at Oil Ports as Rivals Mobilize

A senior official at Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) warned on Monday of a possible declaration of force majeure at the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf oil terminals, as air strikes continued and rival forces mobilized fighters in the area. NOC board member Jadalla Alaokali said force majeure, a legal waiver for contractual obligations, would "likely" be declared if violence continued, though he gave no timeframe. Libya's eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) lost control of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf to a rival faction, the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB), 10 days ago. Both sides have since been mobilizing, and the LNA has been conducting daily air strikes in the area. Most workers have left the ports.

Wärtsilä Launches SmartPredict

Looking into the future with Wärtsilä SmartPredict. (Photo: Wärtsilä)

The technology group Wärtsilä launches its latest innovation SmartPredict at this year's Seatrade Cruise Global exhibition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. from March 13 to 16. Developed by the company's dynamic positioning unit, SmartPredict is designed to provide safer and more efficient vessel operations by reducing the risks associated with maneuvering. The system displays the vessel's predicted future position and heading, and uses proven dynamic positioning (DP) analysis algorithms to evaluate forces affecting the vessel, thereby providing advanced motion prediction.

Wary of China, Duterte to Increase Naval Patrols

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the navy to put up "structures" to assert sovereignty over a stretch of water east of the country, where Manila has reported a Chinese survey ship was casing the area last year. The Philippines has lodged a diplomatic protest with Beijing after the vessel was tracked moving back and forth over Benham Rise, a vast area east of the country declared by the United Nations in 2012 as part of the Philippines' continental shelf. The Philippines says Benham Rise is rich in biodiversity and fish stocks. China's foreign ministry on Friday said the ship was engaged in "normal freedom of navigation and right of innocent passage", and nothing more.

The March 2017 Edition of Maritime Reporter is Now Available

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News (March 2017)

The March 2017 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, with U.S. President Donald Trump on the cover, is now available. Read it online here. As this is Maritime Reporter & Engineering News’ ‘Green Marine’ annual, one might be surprised to see a recent photo of President Trump gracing our cover. Regardless of your personal feeling or political view, the story of President Trump and his new administration is arguably the maritime story of the year, as it touches on nearly every sector, from defense and national security to international commerce and infrastructure.

N.Korean Ship sinks off China, All Rescued

A North Korean cargo vessel called Kum San sank off the east coast of China early on March 9 after colliding with a Chinese fuel tanker, which rescued 27 crew members, the Ministry of Transport said in a statement on Monday. The collision took place near the port of Lianyuanhang in Jiangsu province at 4 a.m., the government said in the statement. The boat sank by 6 a.m. This is the second reported sinking of a North Korea cargo ship since January. The ship did not appear on a United Nations list of sanctioned North Korean vessels. The Chinese tanker was not damaged in the incident, which comes after a North Korean cargo vessel carrying rice sank off the west coast of Japan in January.

Fleet's Support Capability Gets Sirius Boost

HMAS Sirius passes the Sydney Opera House to commence her journey back to her home port in Western Australia. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy’s replenishment capability is operating at capacity once again with HMAS Sirius back in the brine after four months of maintenance at Captain Cook Graving Dock, Garden Island. The fleet tanker cut an impressive figure against the city skyline as she sailed out of Sydney Harbour and into the Pacific Ocean for sea trials recently. She will return to Sydney briefly to take on bulk fuel at Gore Cove before commencing her transit home to Rockingham, Western Australia.

Port of Virginia Expansion Work is Underway at VIG

Photo: Port of Virginia

The Port of Virginia moved 220,376 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in February, 351 TEUs lower than February 2016, but placing its fiscal-year-to-date growth at 6.9 percent. The continued growth comes as the port has started the engineering and survey work on its capacity expansion plan at Virginia International Gateway (VIG); work at Norfolk International Terminals will begin this summer. These projects are the focus of the port’s plan to expand annual throughput capacity by 40 percent – 1 million containers – in three years.

Port of Amsterdam Reduces CO2 Footprint by 25%

Photo: Port of Amsterdam

Following a previous successful pilot, GoodFuels Marine has also won Port of Amsterdam’s tender for its fleet of five patrol vessels. The vessels will now run on fuel containing 30% exceptionally high-quality biodiesel. This will reduce CO2 emissions by 25% compared to fossil diesel. Marleen van de Kerkhof, Port of Amsterdam Harbour Master: ‘Clean shipping is a key spearhead of our sustainability strategy. Part of this strategy entails making our own patrol vessels more sustainable.

Bangladesh’s First 2 Submarines Commissioned

Photo: Bangladesh Navy

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina officially has commissioned the two China-made 035G diesel-electric submarines  – BNS Nabajatra and BNS Joyjatra. With the addition of the submarines, the Bangladesh Navy can, for the first time, be considered a “three-dimensional force.” Prime Minister said the government has already taken various short- and long-term plans to build Bangladesh Navy as a three-dimensional force by 2030. The premier later laid the foundation stone of a submarine base in Pekua in the coastal city of Cox’s Bazar.

Shreyas Shipping Acquires Balaji Shipping

Image: Transworld

India’s Shreyas Shipping and Logistics has approved plans for its subsidiary Shreyas Relay Systems (SRS) to acquire 99.9% of Balaji Shipping Lines from Transworld Holding (TWH). Shreyas Shipping said that consequent to the said issue, the company would hold less than 50 percent of the shareholding in SRS. It also said that as consideration for deal, the company will issue fully paid up equity shares to TWH. Dubai-headquartered Balaji Shipping Lines is engaged in refrigerated and dry cargo transport between the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East.

African Development Bank to Fund Lamu Port

Photo: LAPSSET

Efforts by the government to attract investors to help build 29 berths at the proposed Lamu port has received a boost from African Development Bank, said a report in The Star, Kenya. The port has received a $1.9 million grant to cater for advisory services and technical support in developing a feasible plan for the port. Last week, the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (Lapsset) Corridor has received $1.93 million  from the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad).

Denel-tkMS MOU for Submarine Upgrades

 Photo: ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH

As Denel gets ready to revive the Naval Dockyard facilities in Simonstown, the company is collaborating with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH (tkMS) for joint support of the SA Navy frigates and submarines. Denel, which is a global supplier of world-class defence products and solutions, and tkMS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on board the SAS AMATOLA, in Rostock, Germany. The cooperation is based on the recognition of the critical importance of the operational availability of the South African Navy Fleet at all times.

India Lower House Passes the Admiralty Bill 2016

Photo: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Courtesy: PIB, India

The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2016 was passed by the Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Parliament of India). The Bill aims to establish a legal framework to consolidate the existing laws relating to admiralty jurisdiction of courts, admiralty proceedings on maritime claims, arrest of vessels and related issues. It also aims to replace archaic laws which are hindering efficient governance. The Bill confers admiralty jurisdiction on High Courts located in coastal states of India and this jurisdiction extends upto territorial waters.

CMA CGM to Continue its Development Strategy

Photo: CMA CGM

In 2017, leveraging its global presence, dynamism, capacity of adaptation and innovation, and strategic actions implemented in 2016, CMA CGM should benefit from the sector’s improving environment, initiated in the 4th quarter of 2016. According to a company press release, the group will maintain its discipline in its unit expenses control, pursuing the execution of the Agility plan. CMA CGM does not anticipate any new ship orders on a short-term basis in order to maintain the still delicate balance between supply and demand.

ZIM Introduces ECO Data Calculator

Photo: ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd

ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd (ZIM)’s ECO Data calculator, available free on ZIM's website, provides customers and partners with estimated CO2 (Carbon Dioxide gas) and SOX (Sulfur Oxide gas) Emissions from ZIM vessels. The ECO Data Calculator enables data retrieval per specific line/service, or between 2 locations, for any specific number of TEU’s or cargo weight carried. The application allows users to initiate an emission report which can be saved, printed or sent by e-mail in a PDF format.

US Navy, JMSDF Complete MultiSail 17

Photo:  United States Navy

Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) completed the annual bilateral training exercise MultiSail 17, March 10. The six-day exercise consisted of surface action group maneuvers, anti-submarine training, and various other events which tested warfighting capabilities of each participant. The MultiSail 17 participants included forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62)…

Indian Navy inducts INS Tillanchang

Photo: Indian Navy

INS Tillanchang, a Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC), was commissioned into the Indian Navy  by Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, AVSM, VSM, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command at Karwar naval base in Karnataka. It is the third ship of four follow-on WJFACs being built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Kolkata. The first two ships of the class, IN ships Tarmugli and Tihayu were commissioned in 2016 and are based at Visakhapatnam. The ship…

APM Terminals Boosts Investment in Gothenburg

Photo: APM Terminals

APM Terminals Gothenburg has signed an addendum to the original concession agreement with the Port of Gothenburg to invest an additional SEK 250 million (€25 million) through 2024 in Sweden’s largest port. The new investment will focus upon increasing operational productivity for vessels, improving gate access for trucks and enhanced rail services. The addendum also includes an ambitious volume growth target. “APM Terminals  is proud to partner with the Port of Gothenburg to stimulate Sweden's economic growth and increase the country’s global trade access” said Henrik Kristensen…

National Security Cutter Kimball Christened

Ship’s sponsor Kay Webber Cochran smashes a bottle of sparkling wine against the bow of the Ingalls-built National Security Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756). Also pictured (left to right) are U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft; Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant; Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss.; Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; and Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division christened the seventh Legend-class National Security Cutter, Kimball (WMSL 756), on March 4 in front of approximately 1,000 guests. “We wouldn’t be able to bring this ship to life without the great work that we see here at Huntington Ingalls shipyard,” said U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, who was the ceremony’s keynote speaker. “I am moved every time I come onto this facility and I see ‘What you do today matters.’ And the reason why it matters so much is that in the year 2060…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Mar 2017 - The Green Marine Technology Edition

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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