Iran Says It Will Allow Crew of Detained S. Korean Tanker to Leave
Iran says it will allow the crew of a Soouth Korean tanker it seized for alleged environmental pollution to leave the country, according to Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.“Following a request by the South Korean government... the crew of the Korean ship, which was detained on charges of causing environmental pollution in the Persian Gulf, have received the permission to leave the country in a humanitarian move by Iran,” Khatibzadeh told state media on Tuesday.The…
Iran MP Says Unfreezing Funds May Help Release of South Korean Tanker
A move by South Korea towards releasing $7 billion in frozen Iranian funds may help spur Iran’s judiciary to resolve the seizure of a Korean ship being held for alleged environmental pollution, a senior Iranian lawmaker said on Friday.Earlier this month South Korea’s vice foreign minister held talks in Tehran on the release of the South Korean-flagged MT Hankuk Chemi, which was seized on Jan. 4 by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.“Although the Korean ship’s seizure was only due to environmental pollution...…
GTT Wins LNG Carrier Tank Design Order from Samsung
French engineering firm GTT said it has received an order from the Korean shipyard Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) for the tank design of a new 174,000-cubic-meter-capacity liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier on behalf of the Korean ship-owner Pan Ocean.GTT will design the tank, which will be fitted with the Mark III Flex membrane containment system. The delivery of this vessel is scheduled for the second quarter of 2023.This order is the first of the year for GTT, the company said. It follows a series of 29 LNG carriers orders received in the second half of 2020. GTT noted that these orders, except for one, will be delivered over a longer period than usual, spreading over 2023 to 2025.
Oil Prices Jump 5% on OPEC+ Output Talks, Iran Tension
Oil prices climbed nearly 5% on Tuesday after news that Saudi Arabia will make voluntary cuts to its oil output, while international political tension simmered over Iran's seizure of a South Korean vessel.Brent crude futures rose $2.51, or 4.9%, to settle at $53.60 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude ended $2.31, or 4.9%, higher at $49.93 a barrel.Saudi Arabia will make additional, voluntary oil output cuts of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in February and March. The…
Iran Denies Seized Korean Ship and Crew Are Being Held as Hostages
Iran denied on Tuesday it was using a South Korean ship and its crew as hostages, a day after it seized the tanker in the Gulf while pressing a demand for Seoul to release $7 billion in funds frozen under U.S. sanctions.The seizure of the MT Hankuk Chemi and its 20-member crew near the strategic Strait of Hormuz has been seen as an attempt by Tehran to assert its demands, just two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office in the United States.Iran wants Biden to lift sanctions imposed by outgoing President Donald Trump.
World's Largest Containership Makes Its First Call in Europe
The world's largest containership HMM Algeciras made its first European port call this week, entering Rotterdam’s Amaliahaven Wednesday on its maiden voyage to transfer containers at the Rotterdam World Gateway (RWG) terminal.The most recent vessel to hold the world’s largest containership crown, HMM Algeciras at maximum capacity carries slightly more 20-foot containers than its predecessor MSC Gülsün: 23,964 TEU versus 23,756 TEU. During its maiden voyage, HMM Algeciras is carrying a total of 19…
KOTC Adds New Gas Tanker
Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) said that it received the giant liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker, Umm Ruwaisat, as part of a major fleet overhaul.Accoding to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), KOTC has entered the fourth phase of its fleet overhaul, which entails the delivery of eight carriers, three of which are gas tankers built by South Korean ship building firm Hyundai MIPO.The fourth phase of the fleet development includes the delivery of eight tankers of which three are giant LNG tankers built by Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co, in addition to four medium-term oil products tankers and a huge crude oil tanker currently being built in a Chinese firm.
GTT Wins 2 LNG Tank Design Orders from Hyundai
French multinational naval engineering company Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT) has received two orders from the Korean shipyards, one from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI) and the other one from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the tank design of two Liquefied Natural Gas Carrier (LNGC).Each vessel will offer a capacity of 174,000 m3. GTT will design the tanks of the vessels, which will be fitted with the Mark III Flex membrane containment system, a technology developed by GTT.The first LNGC will be built in HSHI shipyard on behalf of an Asian ship-owner whose name remains confidential at this stage. The vessel delivery is scheduled for the second quarter of 2022.The second LNGC will be built in HHI shipyard on behalf of the Korean ship-owner SK Shipping Co.
South Korea Anti-piracy Unit Heading to the Strait of Hormuz
South Korea's military said on Tuesday it plans to expand the deployment of an anti-piracy unit now operating off the coast of Africa to the area around the Strait of Hormuz, after the United States pressed for help in guarding oil tankers.Attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz off the coast of Iran last year prompted U.S. officials to call for allies to join a planned maritime security mission.While South Korea, a key U.S. ally, will deploy its forces to the area, including the Gulf…
North Korean Fishing Boat's Crew Rescued After Collision
Japan rescued about 60 North Korean crew members from a fishing boat that sank after it collided with a Japanese patrol boat that was chasing it out of Japanese waters, the Japan Coast Guard said on Monday.All the crew members that abandoned the fishing boat were rescued and handed over to another North Korean ship, the Coast Guard said.The collision between the North Korean vessel and a patrol ship from Japan's Fisheries Agency took place 350 km (220 miles) northwest of Noto peninsula in central Japan.Following the collision shortly after 9:00 a.m. (0000 GMT), the Fisheries Agency and Coast Guard mobilised seven ships and aircraft to search for North Korean crew members.The Coast Guard did not give details about how the two vessels crashed in the Sea of Japan…
U.S. seizes 'sanction buster' North Korean Ship
The United States has for the first time seized a North Korean cargo ship it accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of U.S. and United Nations sanctions, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday.The ship, known as the "Wise Honest," was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018. Under an unusual U.S. civil forfeiture action, the vessel is now in the possession of the United States and is currently approaching U.S. territorial waters heading toward American Samoa, U.S. Justice Department officials said.The announcement comes after North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range missiles on Thursday, its second such test in less than a week and an apparent protest by leader Kim Jong Un after U.S.
Ocean Infinity Searches for Lost S.Korean Ship
The seabed survey and ocean exploration company Ocean Infinity announced that its vessel, Seabed Constructor, sets sail from Cape Town to begin the search for the lost South Korean ship, Stellar Daisy.Stellar Daisy sank on 31 March 2017, with the tragic loss of 22 of its 24 crew. The ship, which was transporting iron ore from Brazil to China, is believed to have gone down in the South Atlantic Ocean approximately 1800 nautical miles due west of Cape Town.The Ocean Infinity team is expected to be on site and commencing search operations by mid-February 2019. Ocean Infinity will use its proven approach of deploying a fleet of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) simultaneously to search for Stellar Daisy.
Zvezda Cancels Tender to Import South Korean Ship Parts
Russia's new far eastern Zvezda shipyard has cancelled a tender to import key parts for a crude oil tanker from South Korea's Hyundai, RIA news agency reported on Monday, citing a database of state purchases.Kommersant newspaper had reported that Zvezda issued a tender to import a stern, bow sections an anchors for an Aframax crude oil tanker ordered by Rosneft despite an earlier plan to construct the tanker at the shipyard.The Zvezda shipyard, which is being built by a consortium of oil giant Rosneft…
Japan Detects Apparent Chinese Ship Breaking N.Korea Sanctions
Japan on Tuesday said it had detected what appeared to be a Chinese-flagged vessel, 350 km (218 miles) off Shanghai, conducting illegal transfers to a North Korean ship. "Following a comprehensive assessment, the government of Japan strongly suspects that they conducted ship-to-ship transfers banned by UNSCR," Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release, referring to U.N. Security Council resolutions. A Japanese P-3 maritime patrol plane detected the vessels, which lay alongside each other connected by hoses, on May 19, with one of the ships flying what seemed like a Chinese flag, it said. China has repeatedly said it is fully enforcing U.N. sanctions against North Korea and it would punish any Chinese company breaking them.
UN Sanctions North Korean Ship for Illegal STS Oil Transfer
The United Nations has blacklisted a North Korean ship for receiving oil in an October transfer that breached U.N. sanctions, as first revealed by Reuters. Reuters in December reported that Russian tankers had supplied fuel to North Korea, which relies on imported fuel to keep its struggling economy functioning, by transferring cargoes at sea. European security sources told Reuters that a Russian vessel conducted a ship-to-ship transfer with the North Korean-flagged Sam Ma 2 tanker in open seas during October. "A DPRK-flagged (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) tanker, SAM MA 2 owned by Korea Samma Shipping Company, conducted a ship-to-ship transfer of oil and fabricated documents in mid-October 2017…
China Denies Selling Oil Illicitly to N.Korea
China on Friday denied reports it has been illicitly selling oil products to North Korea after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was not happy that China had allowed oil to reach the isolated nation. Trump said on Twitter the previous day that China had been "caught" allowing oil into North Korea and that would prevent "a friendly solution" to the crisis over North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes that it conducts in defiance of heavy U.N. Security Council sanctions. "I have been soft on China because the only thing more important to me than trade is war…
14 South Korean Ship Owners Form Alliance
A group of 14 South Korean shippers are joining forces to form the first domestic alliance, aiming to restore the country’s shipping sector, reported Yonhap. Under the name “Korea Shipping Partnership (KSP)”, the new shipping consortium will be led by Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and supported by Korea Shipowners Association (KSA). HMM, Pan Ocean Co. and 12 other shipping companies that are mainly involved in routes in the Asian region will cooperate to boost their profitability on routes to Vietnam, Indonesia and other countries through restructuring efforts. Under the terms of agreement, they will cooperate to improve their collective strength through various measures including increasing shared cargo capacity, adding new shipping routes and co-managing overseas terminals.
APT’s Palmetto State Passes Sea Trials
The Palmetto State, the eighth and final tanker to be constructed at General Dynamics NASSCO as part of a dual-customer program, has recently returned from its first run at sea. The Palmetto State and her sister ships are the most fuel-efficient tankers to service the Jones Act trade, according to NASSCO, who built all of the vessels at its San Diego shipyard and partnered with South Korean ship designer Daewoo Ship Engineering Company (DSEC) for the vessels’ design. With an “ECO” design, the tankers offer 33 percent increased fuel efficiency and cleaner shipping options.
NASSCO Delivers Final Tanker for SEA-Vista
U.S. shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO has delivered the third and final ship for SEA-Vista LLC as part of the builder’s larger eight-ship ECO Class tanker program. The LNG-conversion-ready Jones Act tanker Liberty was delivered on March 1, and is the last of three 610-foot-long, 50,000 deadweight-ton product carriers ordered by SEA-Vista in 2013. The construction program began in November 2014, and the first two ships, Independence and Constitution, have been delivered and are servicing the Jones Act trade. Each of the three ECO Class tankers features 330,000 barrel cargo capacity.
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.
Vale: Iron Ore on Sunken Ship Insured
Brazilian miner Vale SA said on Monday that 260,000 tonnes of fine iron ore on a South Korean ship that sank in the South Atlantic had been insured. Vale said in an email that the cargo, which belonged to the Brazilian miner, was bound for China for storage and blending when the ship operated by South Korea's Polaris Shipping, Stellar Daisy, sank off Uruguay's coast. Vale said the cargo had been stowed in accordance with international norms. Reporting by Roberto Samora
Chinese Traders to Return North Korean Coal
China's customs department has issued an official order telling trading companies to return their North Korean coal cargoes, said a trading source at Dandong Chengtai Trade Co., the biggest buyer of coal from the isolated country. 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. The source at Dandong Chengtai said the company had 600,000 tonnes of North Korean coal sitting at various ports, and a total of 2 million tonnes was stranded at various Chinese ports, waiting to be returned. The source spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject.
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.