Marine Link
Thursday, April 27, 2017

China Launches First Home-built Aircraft Carrier

(Photo: Feng Kaixuan / Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China)

China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier on Wednesday amid rising tension over North Korea and worries about Beijing's assertiveness in the South China Sea. State media has quoted military experts as saying the carrier, China's second and built in the northeastern port of Dalian, is not expected to enter service until 2020, once it has been kitted out and armed. Foreign military analysts and Chinese media have for months published satellite images, photographs and news stories about the second carrier's development. China confirmed its existence in late 2015.

Rickmers Sells Entire Containership Fleet to Navios

CMA CGM Azure (Photo: Rickmers Maritime)

Owner and operator of dry bulk and container vessels Navios Maritime Partners L.P. said it has reached an agreement to acquire Rickmers Maritime’s entire containership fleet. The deal, worth about $113 million, will see Navios Partners acquire 14 container vessels from Rickmers Maritime though a wholly owned subsidiary, Navios Partners Containers Inc. Three of the container vessels are 3,450 TEU, and 11 are 4,250 TEU, combining for a total 57,100 TEU. The average age is 9.5 years.

China Iron Ore Imports Drive Bulker Demand

© corlaffra / Adobe Stock

Chinese iron ore imports will continue to be a key driver for the demand growth in the dry bulk shipping industry for 2017, alongside shipping of grains. This is emphasized by an accumulated growth rate for Q1-2017 of 9.5 percent compared to the same quarter of 2016, according to BIMCO. Furthermore, it is the highest imported amount of seaborne iron ore for a first quarter. The growth rate of Chinese imported iron ore was constant throughout 2016, as the annual volume broke into landmark territory.

China Hands Over Third Patrol Ship to Pakistan

Pic: Mercantile Marine Department,  Ministry of Ports and Shipping

China has handed a 600-ton patrol ship over to Pakistan’s maritime safety authority in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, PTI reported. The new ship, just the third of its kind, was built by China Shipbuilding Trading Company Ltd. (CSTC) and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) Xijiang Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. Among other things, the ship will be used to safeguard Pakistan’s maritime interests, People’s Daily reported. Its two predecessors have already demonstrated their reliability and excellent performance during visits and exchanges…

China Shadows US Warship in Disputed Sea

USS Lassen (U.S. Navy photo)

A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer sailed close to China's man-made islands in the disputed South China Sea on Tuesday, drawing an angry rebuke from Beijing, which said it warned and followed the American vessel. The patrol by the USS Lassen was the most significant U.S. challenge yet to the 12-nautical-mile territorial limits China asserts around the islands in the Spratly archipelago and could ratchet up tension in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. One U.S. defense official said the USS Lassen sailed within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef.

China's Navy holds Missile Combat Resupply Drill

China's navy held its first drill simulating the resupply of missiles in a combat environment in the Yellow Sea, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday, the latest sign of the country's growing military prowess. The live-fire exercises, involving ships, aircraft and land-based forces, featured the firing of missiles, torpedoes and shells, some of which were new models, the ministry said in a statement on its website. They were fired to intercept surface, underwater and airborne targets, and the drill "for the first time organised a maritime missile combat resupply exercise", it added, without giving details. China has ramped up defence spending to modernise its forces, the world's largest, which are gaining experience in operating far from its coast.

Vietnam, Australia Call for South China Sea 'Restraint'

Vietnam and Australia called on Wednesday for "self-restraint" in the South China Sea and warned against the unilateral use of force, an obvious reference to China's increasingly aggressive presence that has stirred concerns across the disputed region. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met Australian counterpart Tony Abbott in Canberra, where they will sign a deal on issues including security and climate change. Vietnam and other wary Southeast Asian countries have complained about China's controversial policy of land reclamation on disputed isles in the South China Sea. Beijing in turn has said it is not seeking to overturn international order. Dung told the Australian parliament there was an imperative need to draw up a code of conduct for the South China Sea. "We agreed ...

China Plans to Modernise Shipping Industry: Shares Jump

China published a set of guidelines to support and develop its shipping industry on Wednesday, sending shares in shipping firms such as China COSCO and China Shipping higher. The world's biggest trading nation is focusing on the shipping industry as it looks to secure its supply chains and grows more assertive over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, unnerving neighbours such as Vietnam and Japan. China will introduce tax and other regulatory reforms while pushing shipping firms to upgrade and modernise their fleets to build an efficient, safe and environmentally friendly shipping system by 2020, the State Council, China's cabinet, said in a statement published on its website.

China Deploys Missiles on South China Sea Island

Satellite images show new missiles on Woody Island; China says entitled to necessary self defence facilities. China has deployed an advanced surface-to-air missile system to one of the disputed islands it controls in the South China Sea, Taiwan and U.S. officials said, ratcheting up tensions even as U.S. President Barack Obama urged restraint in the region. Taiwan defence ministry spokesman Major General David Lo told Reuters on Wednesday the missile batteries had been set up on Woody Island. The island is part of the Paracels chain, under Chinese control for more than 40 years but also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam. A U.S. defence official also confirmed the "apparent deployment" of the missiles, first reported by Fox News.

Piraeus Targets Cruise Sector

File Image: Ferries in passenger port in Piraeus, Athens, Greece. CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) AnastasiiaUsoltceva

Piraeus Port, Greece's largest, aims to increase its cruise traffic from 1 million passengers a year up to 1.5 million in the short-term and to 3 million long-term, its managing director, Fu Cheng Qiu, said on Friday. COSCO Shipping, which owns the world's fourth-largest container shipping fleet, bought 51 percent of the port's operating company last year, and plans significant investment to turn the port into a transhipment hub for rapidly growing trade between Asia and Eastern Europe.

China Tells US to Play Constructive South China Sea Role

(Photo: CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative)

China told the United States on Tuesday that it should play a constructive role in safeguarding peace in the disputed South China Sea, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for talks and a peaceful resolution. China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims, as well as close military ties with the United States. China has been angered by what it views as provocative U.S. military patrols close to islands China controls in the South China Sea.

Bulk Carriers Collide On Mississippi

The Panamanian bulk carrier El Flamenco and Liberian bulker China Spirit reportedly collided on the Mississippi River on February 4. The 70,046 dwt China Spirit was contacted by the El Flamenco (69,351 dwt). A two meter by two meter hole above the waterline was ripped out of the afterpeak ballast tank of China Spirit. The damage has been temporarily repaired and it is awaiting class surveyors approval before loading for the Far East, where permanent repairs will be carried out. El Flamenco was heading north to mile marker 110 to unload its cargo of pig iron from Brazil. China Spirit was anchored at 12-mile anchorage facing northbound 75-80 yards off the west bank, waiting to receive grain from ADM Gromark grain elevators.

Philippines: South China Sea not on APEC Agenda

Energy ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group will discuss climate change and business opportunities at a meeting in the Philippines next month but not the South China Sea. China claims most of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims. The Philippines has filed a case with an international arbitration tribunal over rival claims in the South China Sea but China has rejected the proceeding and says disputes must be handled bilaterally. China is a member of APEC.

US, Japan Keen to Raise South China Sea at G-7

Map courtesy: AFP

South China Sea warning looms over G7 summit. The United States is keen to raise the issue of South China Sea at a Group of Seven foreign ministers (G-7) meeting in Hiroshima. The US expects that this move would likely draw an angry response from the government in Beijing. Japan also wants to discuss South China Sea. The Shinzo Abe administration of Japan has been trying to place the South China Sea on top of the agenda at the upcoming two-day meeting in Hiroshima, despite pressing issues of combating terrorism and extremism, and the refugee crisis troubling Europe and the Middle East.

Ballarat Exercises with PLA-N

Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Ballarat and Chinese People's Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) Jiangkai II class frigate 'Huangshan', conduct exercises on completion of HMAS Ballarat's port visit to Zhanjiang, China. Photo:  Royal Australian Navy

HMAS Ballarat has taken part in a range of maritime exercises with People’s Liberation Army – Navy vessel Huangshan following a successful visit to the People’s Republic of China. Conducted after Ballarat departed Zhanjiang port, the activities included surface target firing, a search and rescue exercise, communication exercises and a formation activity with aerial photography. The Chinese and Australian navies conduct regular exercises to enhance mutual understanding, facilitate transparency and build trust.

North Korean Coal Ships Sail Home after China Denies Cargo

A fleet of North Korean cargo ships is heading home to the port of Nampo, the majority of it fully laden, after China ordered its trading companies to return coal from the isolated country, shipping data shows. Following repeated missile tests that drew international criticism, China banned all imports of North Korean coal on Feb. 26, cutting off the country's most important export product. To curb coal traffic between the two countries, China's customs department issued an official order on April 7 telling trading companies to return their North Korean coal cargoes, said three trading sources with direct knowledge of the order. U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were discussing North Korea at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort on April 7.

China Asserts Its Power at Strategic Shoal

Far out in the South China Sea, where dark blue meets bright turquoise, a miles-long row of fishing boats anchor near Scarborough Shoal, backed by a small armada of coastguard projecting China's power in Asia's most disputed waters. China still calls the shots at the prime fishing spot and has boosted its fleet there, nine months after an international panel ruled its blockade of the lagoon was illegal. Beijing rejected that ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which invalidated China's claim of sovereignty over most of the South China Sea. But the presence of Philippine boats dotted between Chinese vessels shows a degree of compliance with the ruling.

Demand for Ships in China to reach 31m DWT

According a new report on China’s shipbuilding industry from Research and Markets, from 2006 to 2010, the total demand for ships in China will reach 31 million dead weight tons (DWT), and the annual demand will be 6.2 million DWT on average. The report, dubbed China Shipbuilding Industry Report, 2005–2006, notes that China’s ship completions rank third over the past 10 consecutive years, and the shipbuilding capacity has increased from 3.462 million DWT in 2002 to 12 million DWT in 2005. The boom of China’s shipbuilding industry is closely linked with the development of marine industry, says the report. Although the global marine market declined in 2005, new opportunities emerged.

ASEAN Breaks South China Sea Deadlock

Manila drops request to refer to court ruling in statement. Southeast Asian nations overcame days of deadlock on Monday when the Philippines dropped a request for their joint statement to mention a landmark legal ruling on the South China Sea, officials said, after objections from Cambodia. China publicly thanked Cambodia for supporting its stance on maritime disputes, a position which threw the regional block's weekend meeting in the Laos capital of Vientiane into disarray. Competing claims with China in the vital shipping lane are among the most contentious issues for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with its 10 members pulled between their desire to assert their sovereignty while finding common ground and fostering ties with Beijing.

Plunge in Newbuild Orders for China

Photo: Fujian Southeast Shipyard

The newbuilding orders for China’s shipbuilding yards plunged by  25.4% during the first three months of 2017 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to data provided by the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry (Cansi). For the first quarter ended 31 Mrach, Chinese yards recorded 5.54m dwt in new vessel tonnage. However, in completed newbuild tonnage, they produced a total of 15.67m dwt of vessel capacity during the first three months, representing a jump of 87.7% compared to the previous corresponding period.

China: No Military Force to Settle Oil Rig Spat

A Chinese official said on Friday that China will never send military forces to the scene of an increasingly ugly spat with Vietnam over an oil rig in the South China Sea, and accused Hanoi of trying to force an international lawsuit. China claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea, but parts of the potentially energy-rich waters are also subject to claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. China is also involved in a territorial dispute in the East China Sea with Japan. Scores of Vietnamese and Chinese ships, including coastguard vessels, have squared off around the rig despite a series of collisions after the platform was towed to the area in early May. The rig's deployment triggered anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam last month that killed at least four workers.

LNG Carrier to Enter Service in China by End of Year

According to reports, China LNG Shipping (Holdings) Ltd plans to put the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier built in China into operation by the end of this year, serving Guangdong Dapeng LNG Co, an official of China LNG said. A company official said China LNG would also build carriers for CNOOC Ltd's LNG terminals in the eastern province of Fujian and in Shanghai, which are expected to be operational in 2009 Xu said China needed 25-30 LNG carriers by 2020, with the country's natural gas consumption growing sharply and projected to be 200-240 bln cubic meters by then. Last year, China consumed 55.6 bln cubic meters. Source: Forbes

New Horizons: Cruise Industry Challenges & Solutions for 2017

Image: GE

Approximately 130 million Chinese citizens travel internationally, making China the world’s largest outbound travel market in the world. With one-sixth of the world’s population, many recognize this country as a market with huge potential. Until a few years ago, travel by ship was a common mode of transport, but China’s rapid economic evolution has attracted more people to leisure travel opportunities and the luxury holiday experience cruise liners can offer. It is anticipated that the number of Chinese passengers will reach 4.5 million by 2020…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Apr 2017 - The Offshore Annual

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.

Subscribe
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News