Marine Link
Monday, May 21, 2018

Government & Military News

Oil Up as U.S., China hit the Trade War Pause Button

Oil prices rose on Monday as markets reacted to news that China and the United States have put a looming trade war between the world's two biggest economies "on hold". Brent crude futures were at $79.13 per barrel at 0121 GMT, up 62 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last close. Brent broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014 last week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $71.83 a barrel, up 55 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last settlement. The U.S. trade war with China is "on hold" after the world's largest economies agreed to drop their tariff threats while they work on a wider trade agreement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday, giving global markets a lift in early trading on Monday.

China to Cut Steel Capacity by 2025

© zjk/Adobe Stock

China will shut down more outdated steel plants and bring total capacity to less than 1 billion tonnes by 2025, the president of the country's steel industry association said, adding that national demand for the metal is set to decline gradually. With more than three quarters of firms suffering losses as a result of a price-sapping capacity surplus, China vowed in early 2016 to shut 150-150 million tonnes of annual production in five years in a bid to raise profitability and utilisation rates in the sector. Its capacity then was estimated at 1.2 billion tonnes.

U.S., China Closer on Trade Pact

The United States and China agreed to take measures to reduce the U.S. trade deficit in goods by having China purchase more American goods - particularly agriculture and energy products, according to a joint statement the two nations released on Saturday. "There was a consensus on taking effective measures to substantially reduce the United States trade deficit in goods with China," the joint statement reads. "To meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development, China will significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services. The statement concluded joint talks on Thursday and Friday between the two countries, which included several U.S. cabinet secretaries and China's State Council Vice Premier Liu He.

Indian Ports Register 1.78% Growth in April

Graph: PIB

The major Indian ports collectively recorded a growth of 1.78 per cent during April, handling 56.81 million tonnes of cargo, said the Shipping Ministry. "The major ports in India have recorded a growth of 1.78% and together handled 56.81 Million Tonnes of cargo during the period April 2018 as against 55.82  Million Tonnes handled during the corresponding period of previous year," said a press release from the government. The Nine Ports Kolkata (including Haldia), Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Kamarajar, Chennai, Cochin, New Mangalore, JNPT and Deendayal have registered positive growth in traffic.

New Patrol Boats Delivered in Curacao

(Photo: Metal Shark)

Four new high-speed patrol boats commissioned on the island of Curacao are the first to be delivered to the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) under a 12-boat order announced last year.The welded aluminum 38 Defiant monohull patrol boats were designed and manufactured by Louisiana based shipbuilder Metal Shark as the result of a multi-year effort by the DCCG to procure a replacement for its fleet of open-cockpit rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RIB).The new enclosed-pilothouse vessels will serve as the DCCG’s main interceptors, patrolling the territorial waters of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St.

Croatia Acts to Cut Red Tape for FSRU Terminal Project

© Wojciech Wrzesien / Adobe Stock

The Croatian government proposed a special law on Thursday to facilitate the construction of an EU-backed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the northern Adriatic.The floating terminal is expected to start operations in 2020.The European Union wants the facility to help diversify sources of supply and reduce dependence on Russian gas, most notably for countries in central Europe.Brussels will invest 101.4 million euros ($121 million), or 28 percent of the project's assessed value.The law…

Gorgon LNG Faces Scrutiny on Delayed Carbon Capture Project

(File photo: Chevron)

The state of Western Australia has ordered an inquiry into a delay in burying carbon dioxide emissions at Chevron Corp's Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, which could lead to a change in conditions on the project.The state approved the $54-billion Gorgon project in 2009 on the condition that at least 80 percent of carbon dioxide released in its gas processing operations over a five-year rolling average period would be buried."It has become apparent there needs to be a clearly defined start point for the commencement of the five-year rolling average…

Iran's Oil Customers in Europe Might Reduce Imports

© compuinfoto / Adobe Stock

European oil companies are not ruling out reducing Iranian oil imports after the threat of new U.S. sanctions, with some expecting banking issues to hinder trade, but there was no rush to immediately cut volumes.U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States was exiting an international nuclear deal with Iran and would impose new sanctions that seek to reduce oil exports from OPEC's third-largest producer.But as of Friday, companies in Europe said they were still taking Iranian oil.

US Sorghum Reaches Spain as Traders Divert More Ships from China

© Trevor Powell / MarineTraffic.com

A rare cargo of U.S. sorghum has arrived in Spain and will be followed by several more, shipping data showed, a sign that Spain's livestock industry is set to become one of the new homes for U.S. sorghum hit by Chinese anti-dumping tariffs.Exporters have been scrambling to divert hundreds of thousands of tonnes of U.S. sorghum bound for China after Beijing announced hefty anti-dumping deposits on the grain in mid-April, part of a simmering trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.Sorghum is mainly used in livestock feed and the fiery Chinese liquor baijiu.U.S.

India, Indonesia to Promote Bilateral Cooperation in Maritime

Nitin Gadkari (left) with General (Retd.) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. Photo: PIB

Taking ahead the bilateral relations between India & Republic of Indonesia, Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Shipping met General (Retd.) Luhut Binser Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs of Indonesia, in New Delhi. Ahead of the visit of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Jakarta in May 2018, General (Retd.) Pandjaitan, who is on a 2-day visit to India met Shri Gadkari to discuss bilateral cooperation in the maritime sector between the two countries. The bilateral talks covered a wide range of topics including river rejuvenation…

River Cruise Company Fined $400,000

© AJBC / MarineTraffic.com

A Thames river cruise company has been fined a total £304,925 (approximately $411,000) at Westminster Magistrate's Court in a prosecution brought by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) for operating without a valid Domestic Safety Management (DSM) certificate.Sodexo Ltd pleaded guilty to operating without the valid certificate, contrary to the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, on one of its Thames cruise vessels Symphony. They were fined £300,000 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £125 and £4…

Japan Reserves Right to Take Counter-Measures Against U.S. Steel Tariffs

© torsakarin/ Adobe Stock

Japan has notified the World Trade Organisation that it reserves the right to take counter-measures against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, the foreign ministry said on Friday.Japan is the only major U.S. ally that did not receive exemptions from U.S. President Donald Trump's decision in March to set import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent for aluminium.But it had previously refrained from following in the footsteps of China and the European Union, which responded to the U.S.

Former MSC Contractor Sentenced in Bribery Scandal

A former contractor at the Military Sealift Command (MSC) has been sentenced to 87 months for his role in a bribery and fraud conspiracy through which he received nearly $3 million in bribes from approximately 1999 to approximately 2014.Scott B. Miserendino, Sr. plead guilty on January 24, 2018, to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and honest services mail fraud, one count of bribery, and three counts of honest services mail fraud.Miserendino, formerly of Stafford, Va., was a government contractor at MSC, an entity of the U.S. Department of the Navy that provides support and specialized services to the Navy and other U.S. military forces. According to the plea agreement, Miserendino and Joseph P.

Scrapping Risks

© Gudellaphoto / Adobe Stock

Traditionally, when a ship reached the end of its economic life, the owner sold it, often to a cash buyer, for scrapping with little consideration of the next step. Many ships ended up on a beach in south Asia (India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh) where they were cut apart and the metal was sold for scrap. The working conditions were sometimes dangerous and hazardous to the workers’ health. In addition, little was sometimes done to protect the environment. For many ship owners these days…

Australia Wants to Recycle Trash from Ships

© joey333 / Adobe Stock

The Port of Hay Point in Queensland, Australia has kicked off a pilot program to investigate the feasibility of recycling garbage from international ships.Currently, ships' crews separate recyclable garbage on board, but have limited opportunity to offload these materials at Australian ports for recycling. Any garbage that is separated on board is combined when offloaded in Australian ports and has to undergo treatment by autoclave or deep-burial to meet Australia’s biosecurity requirements.

China's First Home-built Aircraft Carrier Begins Sea Trials

Photo: Official Chinese Media

China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier headed out for sea trials on May 13, Chinese state media reported. The report said that the new aircraft carrier, temporarily named Type 001A, sailed out at around 7 a.m. in Dalian, in the northeast province of Liaoning. The Chinese Navy — officially the People’s Liberation Army Navy — already has one operational carrier, the Liaoning, which it bought unfinished from Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union. So, the 50,000-tonne ship will become the country's second aircraft carrier…

Huntington Ingalls Enters Partnership for 3D Printing

Logos from Newport News Shipbuilding and 3D Systems were fabricated during a demonstration of the new 3-D printer. (Photo by John Whalen/HII)

Huntington Ingalls Industries announced it has partnered with a company specializing in 3D printing technologies in a move that aims to transform naval shipbuilding in the U.S.Huntington Ingalls’ Newport News Shipbuilding division will work with 3D Systems to develop additive manufacturing technologies expected to accelerate the adoption of metal 3D printing for building components of U.S. warships.The joint effort, which comes amid a significant technological transformation underway at Newport News…

India Seeks Banks Financial Support for Inland Water Transport

The IWAI chairperson NutanGuha Biswas and other senior officials at the workshop. Photo: PIB

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) will involve banks for ensuring availability of financing options for the private players engaged in Inland Water Transport (IWT) sector. Financing and funding for Operation and Maintenance of IWT assets is a challenge for shippers, vessel operators and asset management firms as the banking sector is not yet ready with any customized financing option for the sector. Addressing the day-long Stakeholders Conference on Emerging Business opportunities in Inland Water Transport Sectorwas organized by IWAI at New Delhi…

Federal Funding for Port of Vancouver

Photo: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority received federal funding for projects that will improve the flow of goods to and from the Port of Vancouver. Through the collaborative efforts of the port authority, Transport Canada, B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, TransLink and the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council, an infrastructure program called the Greater Vancouver Gateway 2030 strategy was created to ensure the roads and railways that lead to the Port of Vancouver are ready to manage Canada’s growing trade.

UAE Signs MoU with ITF to Protect Seafarers

Photo: International Transport Workers' Federation

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Transport Authority (FTA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to protect the rights of all seafarers operating in UAE waters.On signing the memorandum at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London, ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton said, “We at the ITF are committed to ensuring seafarers are protected all around the world. This is a significant…

Seafarers to Get Wages if Held by Pirates

Photo: © EU Naval Force, International Labour Organization (ILO)

The Special Tripartite Committee approved amendments of the Maritime Labour Convention providing for seafarers to continue to be paid if held captive as a result of piracy or armed robbery against ships. Seafarers held captive as a result of an act of piracy or armed robbery against ships will continue to receive their wages and entitlements during their period of captivity under amendments  to the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, as amended (MLC, 2006)  adopted by the Special Tripartite Committee  of the MLC, 2006 at a recent meeting at the ILO in Geneva.

US Exports to China to Rise amid Trade Talks, but Volumes are Capped

© donvictori0 / Adobe Stock

China has pledged to buy more U.S. goods to reduce America's huge trade deficit and help avoid exacerbating a trade war between the world's two biggest economies, with energy and commodities high on Washington's list of products for sale.The U.S. trade war with China is "on hold" after the governments agreed to drop tariff threats and work on a wider agreement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday. Washington is especially keen to sell more of the United States'…

Britain Awards $3.3 Bln in Submarine Work to BAE Systems

(File photo: BAE Systems)

Britain on Monday awarded defence firm BAE Systems 2.4 billion pounds ($3.26 billion) to work on two submarine programmes, the company said in a statement.The Ministry of Defence gave BAE a 1.5 billion pound contract for delivery of the seventh Astute class submarine, and a further 900 million pounds for the next phase of the Dreadnought submarine program, the company said.($1 = 0.7364 pounds)(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Kate Holton)

Israeli Seaports Reopen as Workers End Strike

© Rafael Ben-Ari / Adobe Stock

Torm Stops Taking Orders in Iran Due to US Sanctions

(Photo: Torm)

Danish oil product tanker operator Torm on Tuesday said it has stopped taking new orders in Iran as a consequence of U.S. plans to reimpose sanctions on Tehran."We follow the situation closely and always follow the rules. Therefore, we have also stopped taking new orders in Iran," a spokeswoman told Reuters.Torm operates 79 oil product tankers worldwide.The United States last week withdrew from an international nuclear accord with Iran and announced renewed sanctions against the country.While it is still unclear how U.S.

Maersk Tanker Unit to Wind Down Customer Agreements in Iran

Photo: Maersk Tankers

Danish oil product tanker operator Maersk Tankers, part of shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk, said on Wednesday it would wind down its customer agreements in Iran by November following new U.S. sanctions on Tehran."We will perform customer agreements entered into before May 8 and ensure that they are wound down by November 4, as required by the re-imposed U.S.

Japan Plans Retaliatory Tariffs Against US

© Amarinj / Adobe Stock

Japan is considering tariffs on U.S. exports worth $409 million in retaliation against steel and aluminium import tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump, media reported on Thursday.Such a move would signal Tokyo is ready to go beyond backdoor talks and pleas for exemptions from the U.S. duties.It would also add to a growing rift that Trump's "America First" trade policies is creating among major economies, which threatens to slow global trade and business activity.Japan is the only major U.S. ally that did not receive exemptions from Trump's tariff decision.

Construction Milestone for DDG 51 Program

Rendering  of the future Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), the first “Flight III” ship in the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke class of destroyers (Image: HII)

The U.S. Navy's Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) destroyers program notched two shipbuilding milestones with the recent start of construction at shipyards Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Bath, Maine, and Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Miss.Construction of the future USS Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124) officially began on May 17 at BIW, where the ship's namesake, Col. Harvey "Barney" Barnum, Jr. (Ret.), was on hand to mark the start of fabrication on the ship.In Pascagoula, construction of the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) officially began May 7.

Maersk: Disappointing Q1 Earnings Hit Share Price

(Photo: A.P. Moller-Maersk)

A.P. Moller-Maersk missed first-quarter profit expectations on Thursday and warned that political and trade tensions clouded the outlook, sending shares in the world's biggest container shipper sharply lower.Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the three months to March 31 rose 5 percent to $669 million but came in well below the $852 million forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.Chief Executive Soren Skou called the result "unsatisfactory"…

USS Slater Receives National Maritime Heritage Grant

Photo: Richard Andrian/Destroyer Escort Historical Museum

The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum has received a $200,000 grant from the Department of Interior, National Park Service (NPS) through the National Maritime Heritage (NMH) grant program, for the repair of USS Slater’s mast and hull.Thirty-four of these grants totaling $2.6 million were awarded in collaboration with the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs). With these funds, organizations and agencies conduct education and preservation…

ABS Bags Fleetwide Contract with Canadian Coast Guard

(File photo: Canadian Coast Guard)

The Canadian Coast Guard has awarded a contract to ABS to provide classification and certification services for an existing fleet of 114 vessels and future vessel acquisitions.“Last year, ABS was selected as the exclusive classification organization for all non-combatant vessels in service with the Royal Canadian Navy and now, we are expanding our class and certification services to the entire Canadian Coast Guard fleet,” said ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki.Vessel types covered under the agreement include patrol vessels…

New Rules on Ship Emissions Herald Sea Change for Oil Market

© xy / Adobe Stock

New rules coming into force from 2020 to curb pollution produced by the world's ships are worrying everyone from OPEC oil producers to bunker fuel sellers and shipping companies.The regulations will slash emissions of sulfur, which is blamed for causing respiratory diseases and is a component of acid rain that damages vegetation and wildlife.But the energy and shipping industries are ill-prepared, say analysts, with refiners likely to struggle to meet higher demand for cleaner…

Illegal Fishing: Philippines CG Apprehends 5 Boats

A total of 74 crews including boat captains were apprehended by the joint personnel from Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) 3004 vessel manned by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Bureau of Fishery and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 5, and Coast Guard Station (CGS) Masbate in coordination with Local Government Units onboard five (5) Danish Seine (Hulbot-Hulbot, Buli-Buli) fishing vessels at vicinity Balud, Jintotolo and Zapatos Islands along Sibuyan Sea in Masbate yesterday, May 12. While conducting maritime patrol at the vicinity, personnel from MCS 3004 sighted said hulbot-hulbot vessels while illegally fishing using Danish Seine method on said islands along Sibuyan Sea.

Maritime History: USCG Builds 4 Icebreakers

(Source: Maritime Reporter & Engineering News)

In conducting some research for our Bouchard Transportation 100th Anniversary special edition coming out in July (#BTC100), I was paging through historical volumes of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, which date back to 1939. Pictured here is a page from the November 1944 edition seemed particularly topical and timely, as it is a short story on the commissioning of the first of four heavy duty iceabreakers for the United States Coast Guard. As the USCG plans forward for the next-generation of heavy duty icebreakers, perhaps they can use history as a guide and order four.    

Tidewater Attains First Sub M COI on the West Coast

Back row (l-r): Chris Springer, District 13 USCG; Bill Collins, Tidewater EHS&S Director; Josh Jarman, Tidewater Quality & Compliance Manager; Marc Schwartz, Tidewater Maintenance & Engineering Manager; Craig Nelson, Tidewater Vessel Operations Manager; Bruce Reed, Tidewater VP & COO; Josh Nichols, Tidewater Captain & Assistant Port Captain. Front row (l-r): Austin Murai, MSTC USCG; Brian Fletcher, Tidewater Port Captain; Jeff Deronde, MST1 USCG (Photo: Tidewater)

Tidewater Transportation and Terminals of Vancouver, Wash., announced today that the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance and the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River has issued a Certificate of Inspection (COI) to the towing vessel Crown Point for compliance under the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) Subchapter M safety regulations governing the inspection, standards and safety management systems of towing vessels.This COI is the first issued to a west coast (PACAREA) tugboat/towboat operator.The Crown Point is the first of three custom-built river towboats built for Tidewater in 2015.

NATO Navy Ships Refuel in Poti

(Photo: BATPETROL)

Physical bunker supplier arranged delivery of marine fuels to NATO navy ships in Poti, Georgia.Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) under the direction of Royal Navy Commodore Mike Utley, conducted a port visit in Poti, Georgia May 14 to May 17 with four ships from the group: Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan (flagship), Turkish frigate TCG Gemlik, Romanian frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand and Bulgarian frigate BGS Drazki.“In general, physical bunker supply in Georgian ports, available by tank trucks alongside berth.

US Military Seeks Rules for Drilling in Gulf of Mexico

File photo: U.S. Navy personnel detonate a floating mine during an exercise in the Gulf of Mexico (U.S. Navy photo by Patrick Connerly)

An expansion of oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico would interfere with U.S. military testing unless the Pentagon and another agency develop rules to govern the work, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a report this week.The Defense Department concluded in a report it sent on Wednesday to U.S. lawmakers that drilling east of the Military Mission Line in the Gulf of Mexico, a demarcation more than 200 miles (320 km) west of Florida, would harm military testing operations…

Top Container Shipping Lines Reviewing Iran Operations

(File photo: MSC)

The world's top two container shipping groups Maersk Line and MSC are reviewing their Iran operations after the United States withdrawal from the international nuclear agreement with Tehran.The 2015 agreement, worked out by the United States, five other world powers and Iran, lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for limits to its nuclear program.U.S. President Donald Trump also instructed his administration to re-impose U.S. sanctions after a winding down period."MSC is reviewing its services…

China's Crude Oil Futures Boom Amid Looming Iran Sanctions

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

A U.S. decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran is supporting China's newly established crude oil futures, and may spur efforts to start trading oil in yuan rather than dollars, traders and analysts said.Since launching in March, Shanghai crude oil futures have seen a steady pick-up in daily trading, while open interest - the number of outstanding longer-term positions and a gauge of institutional interest - has also surged.Traded daily volumes hit a record 250,000 lots last Wednesday…

Vigor Bags Additional US Navy Repair Job

USS Sampson (U.S. Navy photo by Alex VanâtLeven)

The U.S. Navy has awarded a $42.2 million contract to Vigor for repairs and changes to the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102).Work on the USS Sampson will be done in Seattle and Everett and may include blasting, painting and surface preparation, as well as work on the ship's freeboard, struts, rudders, hull, electric infrastructure and other parts, Vigor said.The $42.2 million dollar award to perform the work is on top of the $35 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite…

Total to Set Up LNG Bunkering Hub in Oman

French energy group Total said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Oman to develop natural gas resources in the country."Total and Shell as operator will develop several natural gas discoveries located in the Greater Barik area on onshore Block 6 with respective shares of 25 percent and 75 percent, as per the agreement between both companies and before possible State back-in, with the objective of an initial gas production of around 500 MMcfd and a potential to reach 1 bcf/d at a later stage," Total said in a press release on Sunday."Total will use its equity gas entitlement as feedstock to develop in Oman a regional hub for liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering service to supply LNG as a fuel to marine vessels.

Tough Recovery Ahead for Some Box Trades; More Uncertainty in Others

File Image: A CMA CGM boxship / © DonWilson_12

Drewry says that recovering demand recovery in the North America-East Coast South America box trades provides encouragement, but local political conditions bear watching. Elsewhere, reports that Maersk and MSC are reviewing their Iran operations underpins broader political uncertainties that could get in the way. North America-East Coast South America box tradesMaritime Research Consultancy Drewry is reporting that the headhaul East Coast South America to North America trade fell by 1% in the first quarter 2018 to 137,000 teu.

Ailing Tanker Crewmember Medevaced

© Aart van Bezooijen / MarineTraffic.com

The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a 59-year-old crew member from an asphalt/bitumen tanker near Dauphin Island, Ala., Sunday.Coast Guard watchstanders in Mobile, Ala. received a notification at 10:38 p.m. Sunday from the master of the motor vessel Marshall Islands flagged Asphalt Sailor about a Russian crewmember who was reported to be experiencing symptoms of heart arrhythmia.The Coast Guard launched a Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Station Dauphin Island to medevac the ailing…

U.S. Coast Guard Responds to Collision

Coast Guard marine inspectors and investigators are investigating the cause of the collision and assessing the damage to the Tofteviken’s hull, and to ensure appropriate repairs are completed. Photo Credit: USCG Sector NY

The Coast Guard Sector New York is responding to a report of a collision at sea May 12, 2018, involving the loaded tankship Tofteviken and the commercial fishing vessel Polaris. Coast Guard marine inspectors and investigators are investigating the cause of the collision and assessing the damage to the Tofteviken’s hull, and to ensure appropriate repairs are completed. The collision allegedly occurred nearly 30 miles southeast of Bridgehampton, New York. The Tofteviken was transiting to New York while the Polaris was transiting back to its homeport in Massachusetts after a night of fishing.

Fifth US Sorghum Vessel Heads to Spain

© Saydam / MarineTraffic.com

The RB Eden vessel carrying 70,000 tonnes of U.S. sorghum is heading to the Spanish port of Cartagena, Thomson Reuters Eikon ship-tracking data showed, in what will be a fifth cargo of U.S. sorghum to be diverted from China to Spain.The ship had sailed towards the Spanish Canary Islands after turning around in the Indian Ocean. Having circled off the coast of Tenerife, it changed destination late on Monday to Cartagena in southern Spain, a regular import terminal for livestock feed grain, Eikon data showed.Traders had been expecting the RB Eden to go on to mainland Spain, like four other U.S.

Keel Laid for Future USS Daniel Inouye

Irene Hirano Inouye, wife of the late senator and World War II Medal of Honor recipient Daniel Inouye (Photo: General Dynamics Bath Iron Works)

On Monday, May 14, shipbuilder General Dynamics Bath Iron Works held a keel laying ceremony for the U.S. Navy’s future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118). The $642.5 million Arleigh Burke-class destroyer DDG 118 has been under construction since October 2014 and is now over half completed. The 3,000-ton keel unit was moved onto the building ways from the Maine shipyard’s Ultra Hall earlier this year, signifying the start of hull integration and the precursor to integration, test and trials. The U.S. Navy named the ship in honor of Sen.

Interview: Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, IMO

Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, IMO. Photo: IMO

As the International Maritime Organization (IMO) celebrates its 70th anniversary, Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, sits in his London office with a sense of satisfaction that in his two plus years at the helm of IMO tremendous strides have been made toward significant greenhouse gas emission reductions, punctuated by the recent MEPC meeting where the target was set for a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. But the Secretary- General’s sense of satisfaction is tempered with the fact that his job has just begun and his plate is full.

Container Shipping Line MSC Stops New Iran Bookings

The MSC Christina (CREDIT: Haifa Port)

The world's No. 2 container shipping line MSC said on Wednesday it would stop taking new bookings for Iran due to the decision by the United States to re-impose sanctions on Tehran after withdrawing from the international nuclear deal. In a note to clients, privately held MSC said it was "ceasing to provide access to services to and from Iran", adding that they would "conclude this period with the minimum disruption" to their customers' business. "While MSC is not accepting bookings for shipments originating from Iran…

Galveston Pilot Dispute: Round One goes to State Pilots

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © dbvirago)

Federal Pilots to appeal. Local spat has regional and national implications. The Galveston-Texas City Pilots and the five-member Board of Pilot Commissioners for Galveston County are facing a serious legal challenge from five pilot applicants and their local attorney. In a nutshell, local, federally licensed and similarly qualified pilots want to compete for business in a previously closed space. In Texas, like virtually every other U.S. state, a local group of pilots – so-called…

Huntington Ingalls Industries Authenticates Keel of Submarine Montana

Jacob McNulty (far right) displays the keel authentication plate he welded at today’s ceremony. Also present for the ceremony were (left to right) Cmdr. Mike Delaney, commanding officer of the pre-commissioning unit Montana; Mariah Gladstone, a member of the Blackfeet Nation; former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the ship’s sponsor; and Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin. Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII

Huntington Ingalls Industries’  Newport News Shipbuilding division has authenticated the keel of the 21st Virginia-class submarine, Montana (SSN 794). “This is an important day for us,” said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction. In keeping with a U.S. Navy tradition, former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the ship’s sponsor, chalked her initials onto a steel plate. Mariah Gladstone, a member of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana, performed a Native American blessing.

US Salvors Pass USCG Verifications

Jim Elliott, President of the American Salvage Association. Photo courtesy SMFF

On April 18, Rear Admiral Anthony “Jack” Vogt, Assistant Commandant for Response Policy, released an update on the status of the most recent U.S. Salvage and Marine Firefighting (SMFF) industry verification initiative. According to the report, the Coast Guard has conducted 58 scenario-based SMFF verifications within the last year across 19 different Captain of the Port Zones, with 16 different vessel owners and operators. To date, all results have been found to be satisfactory and reflect compliance with the Coast Guard’s Salvage and Marine Firefighting regulations.

USCG Cutter Returns with $200 Mln Worth of Cocaine


Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nate Littlejohn)

The crew aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC-623) returned home Friday to Astoria after a 60-day counternarcotic patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.While patrolling international waters off the coast of Mexico and Central America, Steadfast’s law enforcement boarding teams intercepted and stopped eight separate vessels suspected of smuggling illicit drugs. The eight boardings resulted in the discovery and seizure of approximately 13,123 pounds of cocaine worth…

Maersk Honam in Jebel Ali Port

Maersk Honam. Photo:  © Yang Ngai, Marinetraffic.com

The Maersk liner vessel Maersk Honam, which was hit by a serious fire on 6 March, will reach anchorage outside the Jebel Ali Port (UAE) on Tuesday 24 April 2018. The fire broke out around 900 nautical miles southeast of Salalah, Oman, and remains under control. Firefighting activities were initiated by the Indian Coast Guard until vessels with special firefighting capabilities arrived at the scene. Salvage operations are led by Smit Salvage and Ardent – two best-in-class companies within maritime salvage.

Three rescued near Blount Island

A Coast Guard Station Mayport boatcrew and good Samaritans rescue three people from the water April 23, 2018, after their vessel capsized near Blount Island in Jacksonville, Florida.(U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Station Mayport)

The U.S. Coast Guard and good Samaritans came to the rescue of three people Monday after their vessel capsized near Blount Island. Coast Guard watchstanders in Jacksonville were notified via VHF-FM marine band radio channel 16 at 6:03 p.m. by a good Samaritan aboard the motor vessel Grand Mercury reporting three people in the water and a capsized 15-foot boat. A Coast Guard Station Mayport 29-foot Response Boat – Small boatcrew launched, arrived on scene at 6:25 p.m. and rescued one person from the water while the crew of the tugboat Sewells Point rescued two others.

Fincantieri Delivers Italian Naval Frigate

Frigate Photo courtesy Filippo Vinardi;  Fincantieri

The frigate Federico Martinengo was delivered to the Italian Navy at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Muggiano, La Spezia. The ship is the seventh of a series of 10 FREMM vessels of the FREMM program – Multi Mission European Frigates – commissioned to Fincantieri as part of the international Italian-French program, coordinated by OCCAR (the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation). Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (51 percent Fincantieri and 49 percent Leonardo) is the prime contractor for Italy in the FREMM program…

Tugboats & Vessel Response Plans

© sheilaf2002 / Adobe Stock

Traditionally, tugs and towboats (hereinafter tugs) have largely been uninspected vessels of the United States. They were subject to basic examinations by the U.S. Coast Guard, but the standards were little higher than those applicable to recreational craft. These tugs were also subject to examination by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The OSHA examinations were rare, but when they took place any violations found could be costly. After one of the OSHA penalty cases was litigated all the way to the U.S.

China-bound US Sorghum Diverted to Saudi Arabia, Japan

© Eldad Carin / Adobe Stock

Four U.S. sorghum shipments initially bound for China have been diverted to other countries after Beijing's move last week to impose hefty anti-dumping deposits on imports of the grain from the United States, according to trade sources and Reuters shipping data.Three of the cargoes are now sailing for Saudi Arabia after being sold to a private buyer, a U.S. trader and a Middle East-based trading source with knowledge of the matter said Tuesday. A fourth ship is heading to Japan…

EPA Announces Funding to Reduce Diesel Emissions

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © dbvirago)

Preference given to fleets in areas facing air quality challenges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of grant funding to modernize the nation’s diesel fleet by retrofitting or replacing vehicles with cleaner, more efficient diesel engines. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $40 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) grant funding to eligible applicants, subject to the availability of funds. “These grants will incentivize improvements to aging diesel fleets and improve air quality throughout the country…

Yacht Manager Aquited of Manslaughter Charges

The director of a yacht management firm was cleared of manslaughter charges bought on by the death of four sailors in 2014.Four U.K. men – two in their twenties and two in their fifties – were killed when the 40-foot Cheeki Rafiki capsized in the Atlantic in May 2014 while returning across the Atlantic Ocean to Southampton from Antigua. The sailors’ bodies were never recovered.Yacht manager Doug Innes, who had been accused of failing to have the yacht properly checked ahead of its voyage and to ensure that its certification was in date for the intended trip, has been found not guilty on four charges of gross negligence manslaughter today at Winchester Crown Court.Innes along with his company Stormforce Coaching had denied all charges…

Singapore Awards Another $1.1 Bln for Mega-port Project

© ake1150 / Adobe Stock

Bollore Under Formal Investigation in Africa Graft Probe

(Photo: Bolloré Transport & Logistics)

A French judge on Wednesday placed tycoon Vincent Bollore under formal investigation over allegations his company undercharged for work on behalf of presidential candidates in two African nations in return for port contracts.Bollore's company, Groupe Bollore, announced the decision by Judge Serge Tournaire, which came after Bollore had been questioned for two days by French fraud police.Bollore, whose logistics empire is a powerhouse in former French colonies across West Africa…

USCG's Polar Icebreaker Program Prepares for EIS

File Image: The U.S. Coast Guard's Polar Star icebreaker. (Credit: USCG)

Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS); notice of public meeting; and request for comments posted in Federal Register.The U.S. Coast Guard said it is working to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the Polar Icebreaker Program’s design and build of up to six new polar icebreakers.To prepare for the EIS, the Coast Guard has begun the scoping process to solicit public comments regarding a range of issues…

Singapore to Require Flow Meters for Bunker Transfers

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Seafarer81)

Singapore's Maritime Port Authority (MPA) is set to announce it is making use of mass-flow-meters (MFM) mandatory onboard marine gasoil barges used to refuel large ships, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The announcement will be made at a gala dinner in the city state organised by the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) later on Thursday, the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media. It wasn't…

IMO Calls for Govts Support for 50 % Co2 cut by 2050

Esben Poulsson, Chairman,  International Chamber of Shipping. Phone: The Department of Merchant Shipping Republic of Cyprus

The ICS Chairman was commenting on the ambitious IMO strategy to cut the total greenhouse gas emissions of shipping by at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2008 – with an agreed efficiency goal, as an average for the sector, for a 40% improvement by 2030 compared to 2008, and a 70% improvement by 2050 – so that the entire sector will be in a position to decarbonise completely, consistent with achieving the 1.5 degree climate change goal identified by the UN. “It’s important that governments recognise the enormity of what has been agreed by IMO.

Seaspan Shipyards Celebrates Handover of HMNZS Te Kaha

Photo: Seaspan Official Twitter page

Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards (VSL) celebrated the handover of Her Majesty’s New Zealand Ship (HMNZS) Te Kaha at a ceremony in Victoria, BC. The handover ceremony marks the transfer of care of HMNZS Te Kaha from the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) to Lockheed Martin Canada (NYSE:LMT) and VSL. Today’s event follows last month’s formal announcement that VSL had been awarded work on the Frigate Systems Upgrade for the RNZN’s ANZAC class frigates as a subcontractor for Lockheed Martin Canada.

New Legislation in Danish Registers of Shipping

Photo: Danish Maritime Authority

A legislative amendment abolishing the registration fee for vessels in the Danish Registers of Shipping has been adopted by the Danish Parliament. ​The amendment increases the attractiveness of the Danish Flag as it now offers the same benefits as foreign Flags. With the amendment comes increased economic activity and international influence, when the Danish Flag attracts more vessels from both national as foreign shipowners. The amendment enters into force on the 1st of May 2018, but will do so with retroactive effect from the 1st of January 2018.

Australia, Indonesia join forces on maritime security

Armidale Class Patrol Boat, HMAS Broome Photo courtesy  Royal Australian Navy

A coordinated patrol between the Australian Defense Force (ADF) and Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) to improve security along the shared maritime border has concluded this week in Bali, Indonesia. Coordinated maritime patrol AUSINDO CORPAT 2018, the eighth iteration of the exercise, began in Darwin on 16 April following seven days of joint exercises between the two nations’ defence forces. The ADF’s HMAS Broome and TNI’s naval vessels KRI Layang and Kakap covered waters between Australia and Indonesia over nine days…

Germany Approves New Offshore Wind Parks

A typical offshore wind farm (CREDIT: Siemens)

Orsted, Innogy report winning approvals. Germany granted approval on Friday for offshore wind parks capable of generating 1,610 megawatts (MW) of power at contract prices well above the unexpectedly low bids seen in an auction a year ago. The total amount of electricity that could be produced by the parks equates to the power generated by one large nuclear power station, or two big coal- or gas-fired power plants. Six projects were granted licences for construction at an average 4.66 euro cents per kilowatt hour (kWh)…

UK’s New Naval Survey Ship Passes Sea Trials

The Royal Navy’s new hydrographic survey vessel HMS Magpie (Photo: Royal Navy)

The U.K. Royal Navy’s new hydrographic survey vessel encountered a bout of rough weather during sea trials in the Irish Sea.Launched less than a month ago, HMS Magpie is the newest addition to the Navy's hydrographic squadron, replacing veteran survey launch Gleaner decommissioned earlier this year after 35 years’ under the White Ensign.The new 18-meter catamaran is being delivered by Atlas Elektronik UK through a subcontract with Cork shipbuilder Safehaven, based on the firm’s…

IMO Urges Governments to Implement HNS Convention

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The IMO treaty covering compensation for damage caused by Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) transported by sea is the subject of a workshop underway at International Maritime Organization (IMO) Headquarters, London (26-27 April). The event  is focused on helping governments to understand and implement the HNS Convention, and follows excellent progress made earlier this week, when Canada and Turkey signed up to the treaty. This brings the total contributing cargo to 28.7 million tonns – 72% of that needed for the treaty to enter into force.

HMAS Toowoomba Visits Brunei

HMAS Toowoomba departed Fleet Base East for a three month deployment to South East Asia. Photo courtesy HMAS Toowoomba visits Brunei Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy Frigate HMAS Toowoomba has completed a port visit to Brunei, as part of a three month South East Asia deployment. HMAS Toowoomba will join Exercise Bersama Shield, a multilateral activity with the Five Power Defence Arrangement nations, in the coming weeks. HMA Ships Anzac, Toowoomba and Success are conducting a deployment to South East Asia and will participate in a series of exercises with nations in the region. Toowoomba conducted a logistic resupply, as well as local engagements with the Royal Brunei Navy and government officials.

BSEE Regs Update to Cut Burden on Operators

Courtesy BSEE

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) – incorporating industry innovation, best science, and best practices – is proposing to update regulations covering offshore oil and gas drilling operations to improve reliability, safety, efficiency, and environmental stewardship, and reduce unnecessary burdens on operators. BSEE reviewed the existing regulations in response to Executive and Secretary’s Orders instructing it to identify ways to reduce unnecessary regulatory…

Truman Enters Mediterranean Sea

Photo: United States Navy

USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75), the Carrier Strike Group EIGHT (CSG-8) flag ship, passed through the Strait of Gibraltar and entered the Mediterranean Sea, April 27. "I'm proud of the professional seamanship our Sailors showcased as we transited through one of the busiest sea lanes in the world," said Truman's Commanding Officer, Capt. Nicholas Dienna. Along with Truman, the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) made the journey from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea through the second busiest waterway in the world.

U.S. Ethanol Makers Snap Up Cheap Sorghum after China Tariffs

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Igor Strukov)

U.S. ethanol makers have joined global livestock producers to snap up discounted American sorghum supplies after buyers in China backed out of deals due to stiff anti-dumping tariffs on the grain imposed by Beijing in a mounting trade dispute. Sorghum is used to feed animals and represents a fraction of the billions of dollars of goods that move between the world's two largest economies. The trade conflict between the United States and China has already hit shipments of agricultural produce and threatens to disrupt the flow of everything from steel to electronics.

Boaters Strike Decommissioned Oil Rig

(Screenshot from video by Lora Ratliff / USCG)

The U.S. Coast Guard said it has medevaced five boaters who were injured after striking a decommissioned oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, Sunday.Coast Guard watchstanders in New Orleans received a mayday call on VHF-FM Channel 16 at 12:03 a.m. from a boater stating multiple persons on board had suffered injuries after their vessel struck a decommissioned offshore rig 23 nautical miles southeast of Venice, La..A helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans hoisted two patients with more severe injuries…

Canada, Australia to Monitor North Korean Ships

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Saturday the country will send a military patrol aircraft to monitor North Korean vessels suspected of transferring prohibited goods in defiance of United Nations sanctions.Canada also plans to deploy patrol aircraft for such activities, and surveillance planes from both countries will be based in the U.S. military’s Kadena air base on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa, the Japanese government said in a separate statement.The…

Canada's PM: US Steel, Aluminum Tariffs a 'Very Bad Idea'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday said any move by the United States to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum would be a "very bad idea" guaranteed to disrupt trade between the two nations.Trudeau told reporters in Vancouver he was confident the administration of President Donald Trump understood that such tariffs would hurt jobs in the United States as well as Canada.Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum in March but granted temporary exemptions to Canada and Mexico that run out on May 1. Canada is the biggest supplier of steel and aluminum to the United States."We have been discussing this with the U.S.

US’ New Aircraft Carrier 75% Structurally Complete

The next nuclear-powered aircraft carrier for the U.S. Navy is now three-quarters structurally complete following the recent installation of the forward area of the ship’s main deck, shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced today.John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), the second ship in the Gerald R. Ford class of carriers, has been taking shape at HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division since the ship’s keel was laid in August 2015. The ship is being built using modular construction…

Shipbuilding: HII Awarded Additional Funding for CVN 78

The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) underway during sea trials April 8, 2018 (U.S. Navy photo by Ridge Leoni)

U.S. shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Inc. has been awarded a $61,315,248 cost-plus-fixed fee modification to a previously awarded contract for additional material and labor supporting planning and the preliminary accomplishment of the post-shakedown availability/selected restricted availability (PSA/SRA) on USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).The planning work will be performed in Newport News, Va., and is expected to complete by summer 2018. Preliminary accomplishment of PSA/SRA will be started at Naval Station Norfolk (20 percent)…

Austal Delivers LCS 16 to US Navy

USS Tulsa (Photo: Austal)

Shipbuilder Austal has delivered its eighth Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) to the U.S. Navy.The future USS Tulsa (LCS 16) is the second Austal designed and built LCS delivered to the Navy this year and will be the 13th LCS to enter the fleet.Tulsa’s delivery precedes the future USS Manchester (LCS 14) commissioning, which will take place in New Hampshire at the end of May.Five LCS remain under construction at Austal’s Alabama shipyard. Charleston (LCS 18) is preparing for sea trials.

South Korea's April Exports Fall Unexpectedly

© sornlada833 / Adobe Stock

South Korean exports declined in April for the first time in 18 months, unable to keep up with 2017’s brisk pace as global demand softened, adding to worries about the country’s trade outlook amid the risk of a deepening U.S-China trade conflict.Exports fell 1.5 percent to $50.1 billion from a year earlier, marking the first decline since October 2016 when shipments fell 3.2 percent, government data showed on Tuesday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 4.1 percent growth.Imports increased 14.5 percent to $43.4 billion…

OSI to Deliver IBNS for the Royal Saudi Navy

OSI Maritime Systems (OSI) announced it has signed a contract with Lockheed Martin to provide its Integrated Bridge and Navigation System (IBNS) for the first four ships of the Royal Saudi Navy’s (RSN) Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) program.  OSI will build and deliver a military grade system for the MMSC program based on the system designed for the U.S. Navy Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program.The company was awarded the LCS-27 contract by Lockheed Martin in November 2017.As a company that is exclusively focused on the naval market, OSI’s IBNS is designed and built specifically for warships and meets stringent military specification demanded by both the USN and RSN.

Austal Acquires ElectraWatch

Craig Perciavalle, president of Austal USA

Shipbuilder Austal USA announced today it has acquired privately held ElectraWatch, Inc. in an all cash stock purchase. Headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., ElectraWatch develops and deploys portable probe devices that help maintain aluminum structures. According to Austal USA, the acquisition reinforces its position in aluminum ship manufacturing and sustainment and extends its ability to support the U.S. Navy fleet where nearly every ship includes aluminum structures. “The…

ABS Issues First MPD-rReady Notation

ABS MPD-Ready notation demonstrates drilling units have the necessary provisions in place to integrate equipment needed for MPD operations Photo ABS

ABS announced it has awarded the world’s first Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) – Ready Notation to Ocean Rig for the ABS-classed Corcovado and Mykonos deep water drillships.The ABS MPD-Ready notation demonstrates drilling units have the necessary provisions in place to integrate equipment needed for MPD operations.“Offshore operations in deeper water continue to lead back to a need for reliable and cost-effective technologies” said ABS Executive Vice President – Global Offshore, Kenneth Richardson.

Last-minute Tips for Subchapter M

Credit: Eric Norcross

Countdown to Subchapter M: Last-minute tips for choosing the USCG or TPO/TSMS option ...Subchapter M will finally be implemented in the tugboat and towing industry in only a few short months. It has taken over ten years to arrive, but the build-up and in some cases, hysteria, can only be compared to the Y2K scare at the end of 1999. During that period, the world said Y2K would cause computer crashes, commerce to end and daily life to come to a crashing halt.Now, fast forward almost twenty years and enter Subchapter M.

Ethiopia Will Take a Stake of Port Sudan

Port Sudan (© robnaw/ Adobe Stock)

Ethiopia and Sudan have agreed on a deal that will allow the Horn of Africa nation to take a stake of Port Sudan, Ethiopia's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.The deal was reached on Thursday in Khartoum in a meeting between Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir."The leaders of both countries agreed to develop Port Sudan together," said Meles Alem, spokesman of Ethiopia's Foreign Ministry. "This deal entails that Ethiopia will be a shareholder as well," he told Reuters.(Writing by Omar Mohammed Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

US Navy-owned Research Vessel Back in Action

RV Thomas G. Thompson (Photo: University of Washington)

Research vessel (R/V) Thomas G. Thompson (AGOR-23) has gained a new lease on life following a recently completed 18-month upgrade to improve operating systems, bolster its research capabilities and extend its working life for the U.S. Navy and scientific organizations.The Navy-owned vessel has been operated and maintained University of Washington since 1991, under a charter lease agreement with the Office of Naval Research (ONR)-which manages the ship on behalf of the service.The $52 million refit…

New Admiral to Lead Coast Guard 14th District


Coast Guard holds Change of Command, retirement ceremony for 14th District (Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle)

The Coast Guard 14th District held a change of command ceremony bidding farewell to Rear Adm. Vincent B. Atkins and welcoming Rear Adm. Brian K. Penoyer, at Coast Guard Base Honolulu, Wednesday.Vice Adm. Fred M. Midgette, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area presided over the ceremony.Penoyer has served as Atkins’ chief of staff since 2016, advising the district commander on all Coast Guard missions conducted in the central and south Pacific. He is a 2015 recipient of the Coast Guard’s Type I Incident Commander qualification…

Weak Currency, Global Trade Jitters Bolster Brazil Soy Exports

© Matyas Rehak / Adobe Stock

Brazil's soybean exports hit record volumes last month, grain exporter association Anec said on Thursday, citing a weak domestic currency and trade tensions between the United States and China for bolstering business for local farmers.Brazil's April soybean exports reached 11.63 million tonnes, about 1 million tonnes more than the same month last year, Anec said in a report."Evidently, with the strength of the dollar, the producer will free up more beans for export," Sérgio Mendes, head of Anec, said in a telephone interview.

Rhode Island Backs Electric Boat Expansion

(Photo: Rhode Island Commerce Corporation)

The state of Rhode Island announced it will provide $20 million in incentives to General Dynamics Electric Boat to help the submarine builder expand its facilities.The infrastructure investment announced today by Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo will allow Electric Boat to accelerate the hiring of 1,300 new employees over the next decade as the builder is slated to produce 29 Virginia Class Submarines and 12 Columbia Class submarines for the U.S. Navy.Over the next 10 years…

Coast Guard Vessel Capsizes in Mobile Bay

The U.S. Coast Guard said one of its vessels has capsized in Mobile Bay near Gaillard Island, Ala., Thursday. All four crew members aboard at the time of the incident have been rescued.The stricken vessel, a 26-foot Trailerable Aids to Navigation Boat from Coast Guard Sector Mobile, capsized while transiting in Mobile Bay to conduct aids to navigation operations at approximately 10:45 a.m.A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Dauphin Island arrived on scene at 11:44 a.m. to recover the four crew members who were all wearing lifejackets and had climbed on top of the capsized vessel’s hull. The four crew were transferred to EMS and then Coast Guard Sector Mobile.The cause of the incident is under investigation.

No Casualties after Aegean Sea Collision

There were no casualties after a Turkish cargo ship collided with a Greek warship in the Aegean Sea early on Friday, Turkey's Ministry of Transport said.   The Greek navy earlier said one its gunboats was nudged by a Turkish cargo vessel while on patrol for unauthorised migrant crossings in the Aegean.   "We have received information that there is no threat of sinkage, death, casualties or environmental pollution," the ministry said in a statement.   Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz and Ezgi Erkoyun 

USCG Restores Radio Communications Along NC Coast

U.S. Coast Guard Sector North Carolina has restored radio communication capability Friday.Repairs were completed at approximately 4 a.m. after communications went down Thursday evening, leaving the Coast Guard unable to monitor radio traffic offshoreThe Coast Guard said HC-130 Hercules airplane had been launched Thursday night to monitor communications in the area on a temporary basis.

Greek Gunboat on Patrol Nudged by Turkish Cargo Vessel - Navy

A Greek gunboat was nudged by a Turkish cargo vessel early on Friday while on patrol for unauthorized migrant crossings in the Aegean Sea, the Greek navy said.The gunboat "Armatolos" was on patrol off the island of Lesbos as part of a NATO operation when the incident occurred at 4 a.m. local time (0100 GMT).The Turkish-flagged vessel "approached and touched" the Greek gunboat, the navy said in a statement. It then accelerated towards Turkish shores and did not respond to subsequent radio calls from the Greek gunboat, according to the statement.The Greek navy said NATO authorities had been informed, adding that there were no injuries or any serious damage to the ship.

Russia's NLMK Could Close U.S. Business Due to Tariffs

Russian steelmaker NLMK has told the U.S. Department of Commerce that it could be forced to shut down its U.S. business due to the impact of new U.S. tariffs."Without an exclusion for semi-finished steel slabs, the tariffs will have the perverse effect of killing U.S. steelmaking jobs and potentially putting our company out of business," NLMK USA's Chief Executive Robert Miller wrote in a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce dated March 23, 2018.Reporting by Polina Ivanova and Anastasia Lyrchikova; Writing by Polina Ivanova

Sri Lanka Approves LNG Plant Near Chinese-controlled Port

Sri Lanka's state-run investment body has approved a $500 million liquefied natural gas plant by China Machinery Engineering Corp near a Chinese-controlled port and industrial zone, the development strategies minister said on Friday.The state-run Board of Investment has approved investment projects worth $1 billion in the first quarter, Malik Samarawickrama said, the largest of which was the LNG project in Hambantota, where China Merchants Port Holdings controls a Chinese-built port on a 99-year lease.The port, which is leased for $1.12 billion, is near the main shipping route from Asia to Europe and likely to play a major role in China’s "belt and road" initiativeChinese control of Hambantota…

With Eye on Russia, US Navy Reestablishing Its Second Fleet

(US Navy photo by Anthony J Rivera)

The United States Navy is re-establishing its Second Fleet, responsible for the northern Atlantic Ocean, nearly seven years after it was disbanded as the Pentagon puts countering Russia at the heart of its military strategy.“Our National Defense Strategy makes clear that we’re back in an era of great power competition as the security environment continues to grow more challenging and complex,” Chief of U.S. Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said on Friday.“Second Fleet will exercise operational and administrative authorities over assigned ships…

US Navy to Christen Littoral Combat Ship Cincinnati

Photo: United States Navy

The Navy will christen its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, the future USS Cincinnati (LCS 20), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony May 5 in Mobile, Alabama. The principal speaker will be Cincinnati Councilmember David Mann, also a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio. Former Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will serve as the ship's sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

China Pushes for Yangtze River Economic Belt

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, speaks at a symposium on promoting the development of the Yangtze River economic belt in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province. Photo: Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for achieving high-quality economic growth through developing the Yangtze River economic belt. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks at a symposium on promoting the development of the Yangtze River economic belt in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province. He stressed the importance of enhancing reform and innovation, strategic coordination as well as planning and guiding in developing the economic belt.

Sevan Drilling Cleared in Petrobras Bribery Case

Photo: Sevan Drilling ASA

Noway’s anti-corruption agency Økokrim has closed an investigation into Sevan Drilling over the company’s drilling contracts won with Petrobras between 2005 and 2008. "Reference is made to the public announcement by Sevan Drilling dated 16 October 2015 regarding Økokrim's investigation of the Company's subsidiary Sevan Drilling ASA in respect of payments made to agents in relation to drilling contracts originally awarded by Petrobras to Sevan Marine ASA in the period between 2005-2008," said a press release from the company.

Barges Catch Fire in Alabama

The U.S. Coast Guard said it is working with local agencies to respond to a barge fire on the Mobile River near Mobile, Ala.Coast Guard Sector Mobile received a report from Mobile County Fire Department that a barge carrying scrap metal caught fire at mile marker three on the Mobile River at approximately 10 a.m. on Sunday.According to Mobile Fire-Rescue, two linked barges carrying demolished/crushed cars are ablaze.No crewmembers were reported to be aboard the barges when they went up in flames, and there have been no reports of injuries or pollution.The barges are aground on the riverbank.Mobile County Fire Department is on scene conducting…

Cyprus-Egypt Gas Pipeline to Cost $800 mln-$1 bln

A pipeline connecting Cyprus' Aphrodite gas field to Egypt's liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities will cost between $800 million and $1 billion, Egyptian petroleum minister Tarek El Molla said on Monday. Egypt has rapidly increased its production of natural gas and is hoping to become a hub for exporting to Europe after making a series of big discoveries in recent years. Molla, speaking at a joint news conference with Cyprus energy minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, said Cypriot gas would be used in part for domestic consumption and in part for export. Lakkotrypis said a final agreement on the pipeline would be signed as quickly as possible but did not specify when. Egypt is hoping to halt gas imports by 2019 and achieve self-sufficiency.

GE Engines Power USS Cincinnati

USS Cincinnati (Photo: U.S. Navy)

GE Marine Solutions' LM2500 marine engines power the U.S. Navy’s newest Independence class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS Cincinnati (LCS 20), which was christened May 5 at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala.Each of the ship’s two LM2500 engines produce over 29,500 horsepower, propelling the USS Cincinnati to speeds in excess of 40 knots or 46 miles per hour.“Our skilled and diverse workforce proudly manufactures the LM2500 gas turbines used to power this sophisticated surface combatant at GE Aviation’s hometown just a few minutes-drive from downtown Cincinnati…

Danish Fleet Surpasses 20 million GT

© Gestur / Adobe Stock

The total gross tonnage of the Danish ship registry recently surpassed 20 million GT for the first time in history.Denmark, which has been steadily climbing the ranks as a shipping nation, is currently the world's 12th largest register.The fleet under Danish flag continues to grow as the country’s government maintains efforts to ensure conditions are attractive for the maritime industry, the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) noted, citing as an example the recent removal of registration fees for ships in Danish registries…

Could US Sanctions Hit Iranian Crude Exports?

Oil prices are at more than three-year highs, driven by an expectation that renewed U.S. sanctions on Tehran over the country's nuclear program will disrupt Iranian crude flows.But without the Europe Union, or Iran's other big crude customers, joining the effort, as the EU did in 2012, it will be harder for Washington to hit Iran where it really hurts.U.S.

China'a April Exports Stronger than Expected

© anekoho / Adobe Stock

China's exports rebounded more strongly than expected in April after a surprise drop the previous month, suggesting global demand remains relatively resilient and providing a cushion to the economy amid a heated trade dispute with the United States.Imports in April also grew more robustly than anticipated, signalling China's domestic demand is holding up well, good news for policymakers looking to soften the blow from any trade shocks.China's April exports rose 12.9 percent from a year earlier…

Ingalls Begins Building US' Next Destroyer

Shipbuilders in Ingalls' Steel Fabrication Shop, from left: Paul Perry, Donald Morrison, Queena Myles and Paul Bosarge celebrate the official start of fabrication for the U.S. Navy’s newest destroyer Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) on May 7, 2018. (Photo: Shane Scara/HII)

With the first 100 tons of steel cut, Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has officially started fabrication of the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) destroyer Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125).DDG 125, named to honor Capt. Jack H. Lucas, the youngest Marine and the youngest service member in World War II to receive the Medal of Honor, is the fifth of five Arleigh Burke-class destroyers HII was awarded in June 2013.As the the first “Flight III” ship in the Arleigh Burke- class of destroyers, Jack H.

Fishing Companies to Pay $400,000 for Pollution Claims

Challenge Fisheries LLC, Quinn Fisheries Inc., Charles Quinn II, and Charles Quinn III have agreed to pay a total of $414,000 in civil penalties and to perform fleet-wide improvements and other compliance assurance measures to resolve federal Clean Water Act claims stemming from oily bilge discharges from the commercial fishing vessel Challenge, and a related fuel oil discharge in August 2017 in New Bedford Harbor, Mass., the Department of Justice and the Coast Guard announced.In its complaint filed Monday, along with the lodging of a consent decree in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the United States alleges…

Tightening Noose: Venezuela's Crisis Deepens

© Anatoly Menzhiliy / Adobe Stock

The news that Venezuela's PDVSA has diverted a crude tanker from Curacao after ConocoPhillips moves to satisfy a $2 billion arbitration award signals that worst may be yet to come. Reuters is reporting that Venezuela's state-run PDVSA ordered a tanker waiting to discharge at its Curacao terminal to divert to Venezuelan waters after ConocoPhillips introduced an order in a Caribbean court to seize its inventories and other assets in the island, according to a shipper and Reuters data on Tuesday.

Trade War All About the Eastbound Transpacific -BIMCO

© vladsv / Adobe Stock

When two of the world’s top trading partners get entangled in a stand-off, where the outbreak of a trade war could become the extended tool of intense negotiations, BIMCO says we’d better prepare for what may come while hoping that it will never take place.The U.S. is China’s largest trading partner measured by value – and China is the largest one-country trading partner that the U.S. has.“The global shipping industry naturally gets concerned when two nations of huge importance to most shipping sectors get in the ring to fight a trade war – gloves off…

Nigerian Migrants Sue Italy for Aiding Libyan Coast Guard

European Court of Human Rights (© Adrian Hancu / Adobe Stock)

Nigerian migrants who survived a deadly sea crossing last year filed a lawsuit against Italy for violating their rights by supporting Libya’s efforts to return them to North Africa, their lawyers said on Tuesday.Seventeen plaintiffs petitioned the European Court of Human Rights last week, Violeta Moreno-Lax, a legal advisor for the Global Legal Action Network, told reporters. She was among four lawyers and several humanitarian groups involved in the case.The migrants say Italy violated multiple articles of the European Convention on Human Rights…

MOL to Open New Maritime Academy in Philippines

Photo: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines announced that the establishment of MOL Magsaysay Maritime Academy  in Salitran, Dasmariñas City, the Philippines — a joint project with Magsaysay Maritime Corporation (MMC) — has acquired official approval from the Philippine government's Commission on Higher Education (CHED), clearing the way for the academy to open in August. MOL has offered training programs in Philippines with the goal of developing crewmembers who will uphold strict safety standards in vessel operation…

Sanctions spell the end of OPEC output deal

© Douglas Knight / Adobe Stock

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran marks the end of the current output agreement between OPEC and its allies.OPEC is likely to insist the current agreement remains in effect, at least for now, but the prospective removal of several hundred thousand barrels per day of Iranian exports from the market will require a major adjustment.Saudi Arabia has already promised to "mitigate" the impact of any potential supply shortages, in conjunction with other suppliers and consumer countries…

Buyers Seek US Waivers to Buy Iranian Oil amid New Sanctions

© nicolagiordano / Adobe Stock

South Korea said on Wednesday it would seek U.S. exemptions to buy Iranian oil, a path many big oil consumers are likely to follow in the wake of new U.S. sanctions on Tehran, which will tighten world oil markets and push up prices.Iran is the third-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a key supplier, especially to refiners in Asia.The United States plans to impose new unilateral sanctions after abandoning an agreement reached in late 2015 which limited Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for removing joint U.S.-Europe sanctions…

Norway Launches New Licensing Round in Mature Offshore Areas

© h368k742 / Adobe Stock

Norway will hold a new licensing round for its offshore oil and gas fields in already opened areas, further expanding the exploration acreage available to energy firms, the oil ministry said on Wednesday.Areas in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea will be offered to oil companies, who have until September to submit their applications. The ministry plans to award licenses at the beginning of 2019, it said."Access to prospective exploration acreage is crucial in order to make new petroleum discoveries.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover May 2018 - Marine Propulsion Edition

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