Marine Link
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Life Sentence for USS Ashland Attacker

Suspected pirates skiff burns after being burnt near the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland in 2010. (U.S. Navy photo/ Harry J. Storms)

A 31-year-old Somali man was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for engaging in piracy and other offenses in connection with an attack on a U.S. Navy ship seven years ago, the U.S. Justice Department said. Mohamed Farah, 31, of Somalia was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison for his role in the attack, the Justice Department said in a statement. Another five Somalis have already been tried and convicted for their roles in the attack and are serving prison terms, the Justice Department said.

MAN Debuts New SCR for Two-stroke Engines

Rendering of the SCR-HP reactor with a host two-stroke engine (Image: MAN Diesel & Turbo)

MAN Diesel & Turbo and its licensee Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding introduced its new high-pressure selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system, MAN SCR-HP, at an event in Tamano, Japan on April 11. The MAN SCR-HP is available for two-stroke engines of all bore sizes and reduces – through internal catalytic reaction – NOx exhaust emissions to IMO Tier III limits. With specially developed honeycombs and honeycomb materials, as well as an integrated mixing unit, the overall size of the reactor has been drastically reduced compared to typical market designs and its medium-speed counterpart.

Baltic Exchange Chief Outlines Growth Plan

Newly appointed Baltic Exchange Chief Executive Mark Jackson has set out the Exchange’s vision of the near-future in a wide-ranging speech in Singapore during the concurrent MPA Singapore Maritime and Singapore Iron Ore Weeks. “The recent acquisition of the Baltic Exchange by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) has reinvigorated this key international maritime institution, allowing us to grow our leadership profile and play a bigger role than ever before in setting standards, building consensus and leading change in the shipping markets. These are bold plans and will ensure that the Baltic Exchange remains at the heart of the bulk shipping industry for the long-term.

10 Suspects Arrested on Ship of Stolen Oil

The Nigerian navy has arrested 10 suspects after intercepting a vessel carrying stolen crude oil off the coast of the Niger Delta, a senior military official said on Wednesday. The suspects - a Nigerian, two Pakistanis, three Ghanaians, one Indonesian, one Beninois and two Ukrainians - had siphoned about two thousand metric tonnes of crude oil from a loading facility belonging to Shell Petroleum, the official said. "The suspects were caught in the early hours of Tuesday while siphoning crude oil into the vessel from Afremo A platform, a loading jacket belonging to the Shell Petroleum and Development Company in Forcados River," Navy Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, commander of the NNS Delta, said in a statement.

Op/Ed: Trump's Infrastructure Plan Should Include Inland Waterways

Photo: Little Rock Port Authority

Bryan Day, executive director of the Little Rock Port Authority, weighs in on President Donald Trump’s proposed infrastructure plan, calling for U.S. policymakers to consider inland waterways and ports in America’s infrastructure plan. President Donald Trump and members of Congress continue to discuss plans for a major infrastructure spending plan for our country. With calls from leaders from across the country, members of the federal government are coming together to embrace the importance of maintaining America’s infrastructure.

US Authorizes Non-FTA LNG Export from Golden Pass

Photo: Golden Pass LNG Terminal

The U.S. Department of Energy announced that it has signed an order authorizing Golden Pass Products LLC to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States. Golden Pass is authorized to export LNG up to the equivalent of 2.21 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas to any non-FTA country not prohibited by U.S. law or policy from the Golden Pass Terminal near Sabine Pass, in Jefferson County, Texas. With the dramatic increase in domestic natural gas production, the U.S.

Coast Guard Concludes Response to Bulker Casualty

The Coast Guard has concluded its response to a deadly blast on board a bulk ship in the Atlantic Ocean. IMAGE: U.S. Coast Guard

The two surviving crewmembers of the bulk-carrier Tamar explosion were medevaced at approximately 4:30 a.m., by a Portuguese aircrew along with three New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing pararescuers to continue medical care. The aircrew arrived in Terceira Island, Azores at about 7 a.m. A Portuguese Air Force jet is scheduled to be waiting along with a medical team to bring the injured to Lisbon, Portugal for medical treatment. The captain of the Marshall Islands-flagged…

US, Egypt Begin Eagle Salute 2017

Official U.S. Navy file photo of guided-missile destroyer USS Truxton (DDG 103). Photo: United States Navy

The U.S. Navy with the Egyptian Naval Forces commenced exercise Eagle Salute 2017 in the Red Sea. Eagle Salute 2017 incorporates Eagle Response 2017, an explosive ordnance exercise, to provide opportunities for participating nations to collaborate on an even wider range of maritime security operations. These exercises focus on sharing knowledge and experiences in order to enhance solid regional partnerships. Several vessels will participate in the exercise including guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and Egyptian Naval Force guided-missile frigate ENS Taba (F 916).

Indian Warships Visit France

Indian warships INS Aditya (left) and  INS Trishul arrived at Toulon, France. Photos: Indian Navy

In continuation of the Indian Navy’s overseas deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and West Coast of Africa, three Indian warships INS Mumbai, Trishul, and Aditya, arrived at Toulon, France for a three day visit. The ships were warmly received by the Administration in Toulon and the French Navy at Toulon Naval Base in coordination with the Embassy of India. The visiting ships are a part of the Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command and the Task Group is headed by Rear Admiral RB Pandit, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, who is flying his flag on the guided missile destroyer, INS Mumbai.

US Navy Conducts Bilateral Drill with Japan and Korea

Official U.S. Navy file photo of the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), right, taking part in Exercise Malabar 2009 with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JDS Kurama (DDH 144), April 30, 2009. Photo: United States Navy

U.S. Navy ships are conducting simultaneous bilateral maritime exercises with the Republic of Korea Navy and with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force today and tomorrow (April 25-26, local time). The destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and ROKN Wang Geon (DDH 978) are conducting combined maritime exercises in waters west of the Korean Peninsula while the destroyers USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and JMSDF JS Chokai (DDG 176) execute combined maritime exercises in waters west of Japan. Both exercises demonstrate a shared commitment to security and stability in Northeast Asia as well as the U.S.

ABS Facilitates Polar Code Operational Assessment

The assessment, which identifies operational risks and limitations, was performed with TE SubCom, a TE Connectivity Ltd. company and an industry pioneer in undersea communications technology, on its cable-laying vessel, Responder. Image courtesy of TE SubCom, ABS

ABS facilitated a Polar Code Operational Assessment, a milestone in the implementation of the IMO Polar Code. The assessment, which identifies operational risks and limitations, was performed with TE SubCom, a TE Connectivity Ltd. company and an industry pioneer in undersea communications technology, on its cable-laying vessel, Responder. “Completing this assessment is a critical milestone for the marine industry and the first of its kind in North America,” says ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki.

International Maritime University Pacts with Latin America

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has announced that International Maritime University of Panama (UMIP) has been selected to host the regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) for the Latin America region, under an ambitious project, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by IMO, to help mitigate the harmful effects of climate change. Under the Global MTTC Network (GMN) project, UMIP will host MTCC-Latin America. The selection of UMIP followed a competitive international tendering process. UMIP joins MTCCs in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

IMO’s Legal Committee to Promote HNS 2010

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Legal Committee is expected to consider adopting a resolution to encourage the ratification and implementation of the 2010 HNS Convention, when it meets for its 104th session (26-28 April). Norway recently became the first country to become a Contracting State to this key compensation treaty covering the transport of hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) by ship. Also up for consideration is a draft Assembly resolution to allow for the delegation of authority to issue insurance certificates under the CLC and the HNS Convention.

UK P&I Club Advises On Hatch Cover Maintenance

Photo: (c) Lidian Neeleman / Adobe Stock

The UK P&I Club’s Loss Prevention Department, in conjunction with the IMCS Training Academy, advises on the importance of hatch cover maintenance: “Whether a ship’s hatch covers are weathertight is a seemingly simple question that should have a “Yes” or “No” answer. However, coming to the right conclusion is not as easy as may initially be assumed, requiring an understanding of hatch covers, their operation and industry requirements. “Ensuring hatch covers are well maintained…

Baltic Index Down on Weaker Rates

File Image: CREDIT FedNav

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Wednesday on weaker rates for panamaxes and smaller vessels, even as rates for capesizes rose. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, fell for the seventh straight session and was down 7 points, or 0.61 percent, to end at 1,147 points, its lowest since mid-March. The capesize index snapped a six-session losing-streak and gained 23 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,790 points.

196 Ships Broken Worldwide in Q1

© katiekk2 / Adobe Stock

Of the 196 ships sold for scrap in the first quarter of 2017, 65 percent ended up on beaches in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, said South Asia quarterly update of NGO Shipbreaking Platform. 128 ships were sold for scrap to the South Asian beaches in the first quarter of 2017. 51 of the beached vessels were containerships. The other main shipbreaking destinations, Turkey and China, received 36 and 28 vessels respectively. Four ships were destined for recycling in other locations outside the main five breaking nations.

Container Shipping: New Networks in Focus

File photo: Hapag-Lloyd

The most recent available data show that demand for the container shipping grew by 2.7 percent in 2016. With the supply side growing by only 1.3 percent, this meant that the fundamental market balance improved for the first time since 2011. This development is primarily due to decisive actions by ship owners who sold excess tonnage for demolition. Hopefully, improved earnings will also follow soon. The metric-ton-mile demand side has grown by an average of 3.4 percent annually during 2012-2016. This is a new and lower growth level that has taken some time for the industry to get used to.

UN, Russia Warn Against Assault on Main Yemeni Port

United Nations and Russian officials warned on Tuesday against any attack by Saudi-led coalition forces on the Houthi-held Yemeni port of Hodeidah, the aid lifeline for a country where millions of people are in desperate need of food. The warring factions must ensure deliveries of food and medical aid to starving people, senior U.N. officials said at a donor conference in Geneva. Nearly $1.1 billion has now been pledged towards a United Nations appeal of $2.1 billion for Yemen this year, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced, calling it a "remarkable success". "Across Yemen, hunger and malnutrition have reached unprecedented levels and the threat of famine looms large.

Armed Pirates Thwarted off Somalia

Boarding team on board MV Costina (Photo: EU NAVFOR)

A European Union counter-piracy patrol helped thwart a piracy attack close to Somalia’s east coast on April 22. Late on Saturday evening, EU NAVFOR’s Spanish flagship, ESPS Galicia, received a SOS distress call from the master of Sierra Leone flagged merchant tanker vessel MT Costina to say that his vessel was being attacked by a number of armed pirates in a fast-moving skiff. ESPS Galicia, which was 14 nautical miles away, then launched a SH-3D Sea King helicopter and sailed full speed toward MT Costina.

Nearly Half of Interlake Fleet Fit with Scrubbers

Photo: Interlake Steamship Company

The M/V Mesabi Miner has sailed from Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Company in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., becoming Interlake Steamship Company’s fourth self-unloading bulk carrier to be outfitted with exhaust gas scrubbers. Interlake became the first U.S.-flag fleet to test freshwater scrubbers on the Great Lakes in April 2015 after pioneering the emission-reduction technology on its M/V Hon. James L. Oberstar. In 2016, the company outfitted its first thousand foot vessel, the M/V James R. Barker, and its 826-foot M/V Lee A. Tregurtha in its second phase of exhaust gas scrubber implementation.

White Paper Addresses Bilge Water Noncompliance

Photo: Alfa Laval

A new white paper from Alfa Laval addresses ship owner concerns to ensure vessel compliance with bilge water regulations worldwide. Even if a traditional system with type approval is operating on board, the paper states, there are still risks of violating applicable laws and damaging the marine environment. Alfa Laval – a  leader in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling – has announced the availability of a new white paper, Bilge water compliance issues. The…

East Coast Refiners Mull Texas Oil as North Dakota Alternative

Crude Oil moving via rail in the U.S. heartland (CREDIT: Dagmar Etkin)

U.S. East Coast refiners are looking to buy increasing volumes of domestic crude oil from the Gulf Coast, two sources said, the latest twist in a trade flow upheaval in the wake of the opening of the Dakota Access pipeline. Major U.S. East Coast refiners profited from railing hundreds of thousands of barrels of discounted Bakken crude to their plants daily from 2013 until 2015. But as more and more pipelines were built in North Dakota, the discount began to disappear, and so did the rail cars.

Tanker Market Could See Difficult Q2, Q3

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / Carabay)

New vessels expected to hit freight rates; new trade route from east U.S. to Asia to meet Chinese demand. The tanker market may face a "difficult" second and third quarter this year after a robust first quarter as supply of newly built vessels loom, Belgian oil tanker operator Euronav said on Tuesday. "The rates today are not the same as what we have seen in previous quarters," Chief Executive Paddy Rodgers told Reuters on the sidelines of a shipping conference. An additional 50 very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are estimated to be added to the global fleet of supertankers this year…

Nimitz Strike Group Successfully Completes COMPTUEX

Photo: United States Navy

The USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 successfully completed its final pre-deployment assessment, Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), April 21, marking the completion of its condensed Inter-Deployment Training Cycle (IDTC) for an upcoming deployment. COMPTUEX is an exercise that tests a strike group's ability to work and operate as one cohesive unit in a simulated real-world-scenario based training environment. Nimitz was joined by CSG 11, to include Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, to prove their operational capabilities prior to deploying.

Drivers of Logistics Industry

Keynote speaker Dr. Detleft Trefzger, CEO  Kuehne + Nagel International AG, and member of  member of the International Maritime Centre (IMC) 2030 Advisory Committee, speaking on the topic “Driving Forces of the Logistics Industry” at the 11th Singapore Maritime Lecture. Photo: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

The end consumer who has ever-changing needs and will be the ultimate driver of all activities of the logistics industry, said Dr Detleft Trefzger, Chief Executive Officer of global freight forwarding and logistics giant Kuehne + Nagel International AG. Demand for delivery on the same or next day, increased access to products from across the world as well as a greater need for transparency of a product’s source, have led to fundamental changes in the design and execution of supply chains – from production to consumption.

Maritime Security a Year-Round Duty

Commanding Officer HMAS Arunta Commander Cameron Steil watches over HMAS Arunta's boarding party as it conducts a boarding while on patrol in the Middle East Region. Photo: oyal Australian Navy

While many Australians spend Anzac Day off work, Royal Australian Navy personnel around the world will remain on watch, contributing to global security, stability and prosperity. On operations in countries as far from home as Afghanistan and South Sudan, in regions such as the Middle East and in waters offAustralia’s northern borders. Their work is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but they will take some time off on 25 April to honour the sacrifices made by past and present service men and women.

Navios Maritime Acquires One Capesize Vessel

Image: Navios Maritime Partners

Navios Maritime Partners, an international owner and operator of drybulk and container vessels, announced that it has agreed to acquire one 2010-built Capesize vessel of 178,132 dwt for a purchase price of $27.5 million. The vessel is expected to be delivered to Navios Partners' owned fleet during the third quarter of 2017. The vessel is expected to generate approximately $3.7 million of annual EBITDA based on current rate environment (Clarkson’s 1-year time charter rate for Capesize vessels as of April 21…

Hutchison Port Q1 Profit Slumps 70%

Photo: Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH)

Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (HPHT) suffered a 69.9 percent plunge in first-quarter net profit to to HK$166.9 million ($24.4 million USD) from the corresponding period a year earlier. The Hong Kong-based port operator said it was largely due to the absence of a government rent and rates refund previously received. Excluding a one-off rent and rates refund, however, net profit would be 15.7 percent lower than that of last year, said the manager of the container port business trust in a statement.

Op/Ed: CBP’S Lawful Jones Act Revocation

© currahee_shutter / Adobe Stock

In 2009, the U.S. offshore marine sector received a long over-due indication that the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) was preparing to close loopholes and enforce U.S. law in accordance with the Jones Act. This happened when the agency unhesitatingly issued its first revocation of more than 20 letter rulings that were inconsistent with the U.S. law of the land – the Jones Act. Almost immediately there was an outcry from foreign interests who claimed, untruthfully, that this…

Private Equity Boost for Hyundai Samho

South Korea’s Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI), a shipbuilding affiliate of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), said it has attracted 300 billion ($264 million) won investment via pre-IPO. Under the agreement signed with Korean private equity firm IMM Private Equity, HSHI will issue 5.36 million new convertible preferred shares and IMM PE will pay 300 billion won ($264 million) in total to acquire the shares at 56,000 won per share. The deal brings HSHI’s total market value at 2.5 trillion won ($2.2 billion). HSHI said it plans to finalize the approval of the deal early June this year through the meeting of board of directors, and to use the investment to lower its debt-to-equity ratio to 78.1 percent from current 96.4 percent.

Deutsche Invest Highest Bidder for Thessaloniki Port

© bestravelvideo / Adobe Stock

German private equity firm Deutsche Invest Equity Partners was the highest bidder for a majority stake in Greece's Thessaloniki Port with an offer of 231.9 million euros ($251.8 million), privatisation agency HRADF said on Monday. The sale is a key part of the country's international bailout signed in 2015 and comes less than a year after China's COSCO Shipping bought a 51 percent stake in Piraeus Port, Greece's biggest, for 280.5 million euros. The bid for Greece's second-largest port by Deutsche Invest Equity Partners…

Statoil Downplays Risks Ahead of Arctic Drilling

File photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Statoil

Norway's Statoil on Monday played down concerns that drilling in the Arctic is risky, days before it kickstarts its drilling campaign in the Barents Sea, where the country believes around half of its remaining resources could be located. "We will start drilling the first well, Blaamann, during May ... followed by Kayak, Gemini (Nord), Korpfjell and Koigen (Central)," said a Statoil spokesman, adding each might take about a month to drill. All the wells are in areas free of sea ice thanks to the warm Gulf Stream…

Economic Indicators Pointing Up -BIMCO

© Dmitry V. Petrenko / Adobe Stock photo

The recent months’ uptick in global indicators, which implies a strengthening in the global economy, is not sufficient for the patient to be discharged yet. The state of the global economy is still uncertain, despite stronger growth dynamics in advanced economies, and not least in China. When the IMF updated its outlook for advanced economies for 2017 and 2018 in January, it was the first time since 2007 that an IMF January update lifted expectations for the present and coming years.

US Sees Piracy Increase off Somalia Tied to Famine

Cargo ship MV OS-35 was recently attacked by suspected armed pirates in the Gulf of Aden (Photo: EUNAVFOR)

The United States is closely watching a recent increase in piracy off the coast of Somalia, a senior U.S. military official said on Sunday as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited an important military base in Djibouti. The rise in piracy attacks has at least partially been driven by famine and drought in the region, the top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa said during Mattis' visit as part of a week-long trip to the Middle East and Africa. The United States uses the base in Djibouti…

Baltic Index Down on Weaker Capesize Rates

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock) / (c) n neeleman)

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Monday on weaker rates for large vessels. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was down 25 points, or 2.09 percent, at 1,170 points. The capesize index lost 50 points, or 2.73 percent, to 1,780 points, its lowest in over six weeks. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $409 at $12,960.

Japan Steelmakers Scramble for Coking Coal

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Lukasc Z) )

Japanese steelmakers have bought coking coal from the United States, Canada and China to replace supply lost after a cyclone closed rail links in Australia, their biggest supplier, industry and trader sources said. Still, the Japanese buyers are paying nearly double the $150 a tonnes price that they were discussing with sellers for second-quarter supply before the supply disruption. The supply talks are now on hold and prices will likely stay high until full volumes start flowing again. In 2016, Japan bought about 71 percent of the 59.9 million tonnes of coking coal it consumed from Australia.

Norway Invites Coastal Ferry Route Bids

Norway's Geiranger fjord (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) iPics)

The Norwegian government is inviting shipping firms to compete for the right to provide a transport service for goods and passengers along the country's coastline, with 34 port calls from Bergen to Kirkenes, the Ministry of Transport and Communications said in a statement on Monday. "We've seen substantial interest from potential bidders," the ministry said, without mentioning numbers or names.

Eight Dead as Migrant Boat Sinks off Greece's Lesbos

At least eight people, including a child, drowned when an inflatable boat carrying refugees and migrants sank off Greece's Lesbos island, the Greek coastguard said on Monday. The United Nation refugee agency UNHCR said the number of dead was at least 12. Citing survivors, it said 25 people were on board. Two survivors, one of whom is pregnant, were taken to the island's main hospital, the coastguard said. Lesbos was the main gateway into the European Union in 2015 for nearly a million Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans who crossed from Turkey. A deal between the EU and Ankara in March last year has all but closed down that route. Just over 4,800 refugees and migrants have crossed to Greece from Turkey this year, according to UNHCR data, and about 20 arrive on Greek islands each day.

European Banks Back Green Shipping Deal

EIB Group’s headquarters in Luxembourg. Photo: European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank and Dutch bank ABN Amro will sign an agreement to support investments for greening the European shipping fleet. This framework is the first with a financial institution in the Netherlands and is supported by the Connecting Europe Facility and was made possible by the EFSI (European Fund for Strategic Investments), central pillar of the Juncker Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe. The framework guarantee agreement will ensure that promoters of sustainable…

DSME Deal Non-starter

File Photo: Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering

The creditors of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) still remain undecided over afor the shipyard's latest deal, further complicating troubles for one of the country's major shipyards, Yonhap reported. DSME  clinched a US$250 million deal to build three very large crude carriers (VLCCs) on April 4. Under the deal with Maran Tankers Management, a unit of Greece's largest shipper Angelicoussis Shipping Group, Daewoo Shipbuilding will deliver the 318,000-ton VLCCs by 2018.

Turkey Raises Marine Pollution Fines

Photo: Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Transport, Maritime and Communications

Turkey has raised the fines for marine pollution by 41 percent, Daily Sabah reported quoting the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication. The Ministry  has  also implemented stricter regulations after a ship hit rocks and spilled 50 tons of fuel in western Turkey. The ministry's decision follows the incident involving Lady Tuna, a ship which hit rocks on December 18, 2016 and was responsible for spilling 50 tons of fuel near the Fener island of Turkey's western Izmir province and has been fined 5 million Turkish liras ($1.37 million).

World Bank USD375 mln Loan for India's Waterway Project

Pic: Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)

In a major boost towards realising India's ambitious inland waterways project, the World Bank has approved a $375 million loan for capacity augmentation of National Waterway-1(River Ganga) under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP). The government is developing NW-1 (River Ganga) under JMVP from Haldia to Varanasi (1390 Km) with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 5369 crore (USD 829 mln). The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT.

IMO in China to Share Policies

Image: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Addressing over 300 industry experts at the Green Shiptech China Congress 2017 (20-21 April), International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Heike Deggim briefed the audience on the latest IMO regulations. She drew attention to the global 0.50% sulphur limit from 2020 as a key item on IMO’s environmental agenda. She also outlined other key regulatory moves at IMO which will be the focus in the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), including the forthcoming entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention in September 2017.

USS Carl Vinson Pilot Ejects Safely at Sea

Photo: United States Navy

 A pilot safely ejected and was quickly recovered by a helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4 aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) while conducting routine flight operations during a transit in the Celebes Sea.   The incident occurred as the F/A-18E assigned to Carrier Air Wing 2 was on final approach to Carl Vinson.    The incident is currently under investigation. The pilot is being assessed by the medical team aboard Carl Vinson and there are no apparent injuries at this time.  

Indian Navy Fires Brahmos Land Attack Supersonic Cruise Missile

File photo: BrahMos Aerospace stall By Indian Navy

Indian Navy successfully undertook the firing of BrahMos Land Attack Supersonic Cruise Missile from a ship on 21 April 2017. This variant of Long Range BrahMos Missile was fired from Indian Naval Ship Teg, a Guided Missile Frigate, on a target on land. BrahMos Missile has been jointly developed by India and Russia, and its Anti Ship variant has already been inducted into Indian Navy. Majority of the frontline ships of Indian Navy, like the Kolkata, Ranvir and Teg classes of ships, are capable of firing this missile.

ABS Wins Great Lakes Towing SubM Contract

Photo: Great Lakes Towing Company

ABS said it has been awarded a Third Party Organization (TPO) contract by The Great Lakes Towing Company (GLT) to support compliance with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Subchapter M regulations. “Every organization operating towing vessels in U.S. inland waterways will have to comply with Subchapter M,” said ABS Americas Division President Jamie Smith. The recently signed contract with GLT, which is a member of the American Waterways Operators (AWO), establishes ABS as the company’s TPO, providing surveys for its fleet and audits of its Responsible Carrier Program (RCP).

OPTECH South 2017: Littoral Challenges in Colombia

Photo credit: Nicklas Gustafsson

Naval experts from around the world are meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, for the Operations and Technology (OPTECH) South 2017 conference. The event is being conducted by the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School’s (NPS) Littoral Operations Center (LOC), supported by the Office of Naval Research-Global and the Colombian Naval Science and Technology Office and Swedish defense company Saab. The littoral is the complex “near shore” environment where hydrography, geography, commerce, fishing…

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…

Greece Gets Three Improved Bids For Thessaloniki Port Sale

Greece received three improved binding financial bids for a majority stake in Thessaloniki Port , its second-largest, the country's privatisation agency (HRADF) said on Friday. Last month HRADF got three bids for a 67 percent stake in Thessaloniki Port. The bids were submitted by Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services (ICTS), Dubai-based P&O Steam Navigation Company (DP World) and German private equity firm Deutsche Invest Equity Partners, jointly with France's Terminal Link SAS. After unsealing the financial offers this month, HRADF asked the suitors to improve them by April 21. The improved offers will be unsealed at a board meeting on April 24, HRADF said. The current market value of the stake on sale is 138.8 million euros.

Baltic Index Falls to Weakest Since Mid-December

© norinut / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index marked its biggest percentage decline since mid-December on Friday as rates for larger vessels dipped due to limited activity. The Baltic index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, was down 3.86 percent. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was down 48 points at 1,195, its weakest since March 22. "Capesize and panamax vessels remain under pressure to close the week as both the Pacific and Atlantic markets remain rather quiet…

Iran's Crude Exports Dip to 14-month low

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carabay)

Iran's crude exports to hit 14-month low; May exports to total 1.66 mln bpd in May. Iran's crude oil exports are set to hit a 14-month low in May, a person with knowledge of the Middle Eastern country's tanker loading schedule said, suggesting the country is struggling to raise exports after clearing out stocks stored on tankers. Part of the drop may also be attributable to a decline in demand, as loadings bound for India are set to slump to a one-year low after a dispute over the award of a contract for a gas field and Japan's orders fall by more than half from April.

Shanghai Grapples with Traffic Congestion

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) zhu difeng)

The world's busiest container port, Yangshan in China's business hub of Shanghai, is battling severe congestion wrought by dense fog, higher-than-usual volumes and the aftermath of a shake-up in shipping alliances, ocean carriers and port officials say. More than 100 container vessels are now waiting outside the port, where the average waiting time at berth last week went up 6.2 percent, to 18.2 hours, versus the previous week, according to shipping software provider CargoSmart.

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.

Diana Prices USD 70 mln Public Offering

Photo: Diana Shipping Inc

Diana Shipping, a global shipping company specializing in the ownership of dry bulk vessels,  announced that it has priced its previously announced underwritten public offering of 17,500,000 common shares, par value US$0.01 per share, at a price of US$4.00 per share. The Company has granted the underwriters an over-allotment option for a period of 30 days from the closing of this offering to purchase up to an additional 2,625,000 shares of common stock at the public offering price, less underwriting discounts.

Merchant Navy Medal Award Nominations Open

Image: Merchant Navy Welfare Board

The Merchant Navy Medal (MNM) has been awarded by the industry for meritorious service since it was established in 2005. Last year it was elevated to a State award, with presentations conducted by HRH The Princess Royal at Trinity House on 15 November. This year, the closing date for the receipt of nominations is Friday 19 May. Details of the awards ceremony will be promulgated in due course. Eligibility for the MNM is limited to those who have served, or are serving, in the Merchant Navy or Fishing Fleets of the United Kingdom…

Australian Navy's Electronic Warfare Training

CO HMAS Parramatta, CMDR Simon Howard, CSC, RAN keeps an eye on the situation as the crew of HMAS Parramatta runs through multi-unit warfare simulations conducted out of Systems Training School, HMAS Watson. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

In a collaborative project with Australian industry, the Royal Australian Navy is extending its use of simulation to electronic warfare training. A common electronic warfare sensor suite is planned across the future fleet and future electronic warfare sailors need to have the advanced skills to meet upcoming demand. Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne said a contract signed with the Australian company Cirrus Real Time Processing Systems would result in advanced new maritime training systems designed and developed in Australia.

How Do Danish Ships Avoid Non-Conformities

Pic: Danish Maritime Authority

Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) will be hosting meetings on port State control (PSC) inspections  for shore-based and ship-based employees. The purpose is to engage in a dialogue on onboard safety and on how ships can prepare for PSC  inspections. The meeting is an opportunity to exchange experiences gained from PSC inspections. Together we will discuss how to improve safety and, thereby, avoid non-conformities and detentions and how the shore-based organisation can best support the crew in connection with PSC inspections. "We must learn from our faults.

US Navy to Celebrate Earth Day

Photo: United States Navy

Performing missions at sea, on land and in the skies daily around the globe, the Navy is a constant presence in the environment. To emphasize stewardship on all fronts, the Navy workforce is taking part in Earth Day-related activities throughout the month of April. The official Earth Day date is April 22. The Navy's Earth Day theme for 2017 is, "Building Strength Through Stewardship." The theme emphasizes the value of environmental initiatives in supporting the mission by helping to build trust with government agencies and the public.

Weak Gasoline Prices Prompts US-bound Tanker to Alter Course

A tanker of gasoline en route to New York Harbor from Europe has been diverted to a Caribbean storage hub because a narrow window of opportunity for shipping profitably to the U.S. East Coast appears to have shut, traders said. At least 16 tankers carrying some 600,000 tonnes of gasoline blending components were booked early in April to send fuel from Europe to the East Coast. Since, a Long-Range 2 (LR2) vessel AMOREA, floating offshore carrying summer-grade RBOB gasoline, known as F2-grade, set sail to New York. An LR2 going to New York was uncommon to begin with, but the recent closing of the arb, or the window, caused the vessel to be diverted to the BORCO storage hub in the Caribbean, according to Reuters vessel tracking data and three sources with knowledge of the matter.

Bollinger Delivers USCGC Benjamin Dailey

USCGC Benjamin Dailey (Photo: Bollinger Shipyards)

Bollinger Shipyards said it has delivered the USCGC Benjamin Dailey, the 23rd Fast Response Cutter (FRC) to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard took delivery of the 154-foot patrol craft on April 20, 2017 in Key West, Fla. The vessel’s commissioning is scheduled for July 4, 2017 in Pascagoula, Miss. The 23rd vessel in the Coast Guard's Sentinel-class FRC program, USCGC Benjamin Dailey will be the first FRC to be stationed in the 8th Coast Guard District in Pascagoula, Miss. Previous cutters have been stationed in Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Cape May, N.J. and Ketchikan, Alaska.

Ampelmann Unveils the Icemann

Photo: Ampelmann

Ampelmann, provider of offshore access to the energy industry, has unveiled its latest walk to work system which has been specially designed for operation in extreme cold conditions. The N-type, nicknamed Icemann, was officially launched in front of 200 guests on Thursday, April 20, in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Designed to safely and efficiently transfer crew in extreme icing and temperatures as low as -28C (-18F), the fully enclosed and insulated system is operational in sea states up to 3.5 meters significant wave height and comprises active motion compensation.

BW Group Delivers First VLCC TO DHT

Photo: BW Group

DHT Holdings, Inc. said it has taken delivery of the DHT Utik, the first of 11 very large crude carriers (VLCC) acquired from BW Group Limited in exchange for DHT's shares. The delivery was made despite a last-minute effort by rival oil tanker firm Frontline to prevent the deal that will bring BW's ownership in DHT to 33.5 percent, surpassing Frontline as DHT's top shareholder. Frontline’s lawsuit was rejected in New York County Supreme Court. Of the 11 VLCCs sold in the deal…

Iraq's Oil Exports Fall in April Amid Port Work, OPEC Cut

Oil shipments from Iraq's southern terminals have fallen so far in April, according to loading data and an industry source, reflecting a temporary drop in export capacity and Iraqi efforts to comply with OPEC production cuts. OPEC's second-largest producer has curbed output this year as part of an OPEC-led supply reduction deal, although OPEC figures show that until March Iraq had delivered a smaller cut than other members such as top exporter Saudi Arabia. Exports from southern Iraq - the outlet for most of the country's crude - in the first 19 days of April averaged 3.10 million barrels per day (bpd), according to shipping data tracked by Reuters and by an industry source.

US Court Rejects Frontline's Bid to Stop BW-DHT Deal

Photo: BW Group

A U.S. court has rejected a last-minute effort by billionaire investor John Fredriksen's Frontline to prevent BW Group from acquiring a major stake in rival oil tanker firm DHT Holdings, DHT said on Thursday. The New York County Supreme Court's decision means that privately-owned BW Group, led by shipping tycoon Andreas Sohmen Pao, can proceed with the sale of 11 very large crude carriers (VLCCs) to DHT in exchange for DHT's shares. "The transaction will proceed as planned, and in fact the first ship is being transferred to DHT today…

Korea Gas Corp Launches Tender for June, July LNG Cargoes

Korea Gas Corp has launched a tender seeking to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes for delivery in June and July, trade sources said on Thursday. The scope of the company's demand is unclear as each supplier has a limit on the number of cargoes it is allowed to offer, but the firm has not spelled out an upper limit for deliveries, trade sources said. (Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic)

Hull Cleaning Robot Deployed in Rotterdam

Photo courtesy of René Klootsema

Recently the hull of the vessel Vlieborg from Wagenborg has been cleaned in the Port of Rotterdam by Fleet Cleaner and OH Ship Cleaning. The vessel was heavily fouled with slime and algae, which were all removed from the hull and captured by the installation. The collected wastewater was carefully filtered in order to comply with environmental regulations. Since the Vlieborg was not loaded during the cleaning, a large portion of the fouled hull had to be cleaned above water. Onno Steenweg…

Princess Cruises Fined $40 Mln for Pollution

Caribbean Princess (Photo: Princess Cruise Lines Ltd.)

Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. was sentenced to pay a $40 million penalty – the largest-ever for crimes involving deliberate vessel pollution – related to illegal dumping overboard of oil contaminated waste and falsification of official logs in order to conceal the discharges. The sentence was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood for the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, and Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg for the Southern District of Florida in Miami. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Patricia A.

Rickmer's Group Worth $740 Million

Rickmers Group fleet value, from March 21, 2016 (Source: VesselsValue)

Following last month’s news that Singapore Based Rickmers Maritime Trust is to be wound up, Rickmers Holding AG released a statement on April 19 reporting that an understanding had been reached regarding restructuring of the Rickmers Group. It is understood that sole shareholder Bertram Rickmers will reduce his shareholding to below 25 percent, while the remaining 75 percent will be taken by lenders and bondholders. The value today of the Rickmers Group (a Rickmers Holding AG subsidiary) sits at $740 million, according to VesselsValue.

Falling Capesize Rates Weigh on Baltic Index

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Lukasz Z)

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Thursday on sliding rates for capesize vessels, weighed further by weaker panamax demand. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was down 35 points, or 2.74 percent, at 1,243 points. The capesize index lost 139 points, or 6.53 percent, to 1,991 points, its lowest in over a month. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $864 to $14,660.

HMAS Arunta Small Weapons Go Technical

Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Navy’s deployed ship in the Middle East, HMAS Arunta, has had its small arms weapons inspected, serviced and certified during a recent port visit. HMAS Arunta is serving on a nine-month Operation MANITOU deployment which has necessitated an all-important maintenance period. With all previous ships only spending six months away, the requirement to have weapons inspected and maintained while in the area of operations had not been required. The fly-away team was required as embarked…

Vice President Pence Visits Naval Air Facility Atsugi

Photo: United States Navy

Marking his first official travel to the Asia-Pacific region, Vice President Mike Pence made his first ceremonial stop in Japan at Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi, April 18. During the Japan portion of his regional visit, the vice president will travel to Tokyo where he will meet with Prime Minister Shinz Abe and lead the inaugural U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue with Deputy Prime Minister Tar As. The vice president will also participate in a listening session, followed by remarks to the U.S. and Japanese business community. Naval Air Facility Atsugi Commanding Officer Capt.

Belgium Accedes to Oil Pollution Response Treaty

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Belgium has become the 112th State to accede to International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC). The treaty establishes measures for dealing with pollution incidents, either nationally or in cooperation with other countries. Laurent Preud'homme, First Secretary of the Embassy of Belgium in the United Kingdom, deposited the instrument at IMO Headquarters in London, today (19 April). Preud'homme also deposited the instrument of accession for the Protocol to the OPRC relating to hazardous and noxious substances.

IMO 2020: The Future of Fuel

Shell’s gas-to-liquid (GTL) Technology is used to produce high-performance lubricants: pictured is the company’s production facility in Qatar. (Photo: Shell)

There has been little reaction by way of statements or position papers from marine fuel lubricant manufacturers to the IMO MEPC70 proposals for a global fuel sulfur content cap of 0.5 percent by 2020 but they are fully aware of the implications of the proposed regulations and are taking what could be termed a ‘pragmatic approach’ to fuel regulation compliance. Marine lubricant suppliers have avoided getting involved in the debate as to whether the IMO MEPC70 proposals to reduce permissible marine fuel sulfur content to 0.5 percent or less is good…

Understanding Legal Liability in a Subchapter M Environment

© Ed Metz / Adobe Stock

There is more to SubM than just attention to safety. Protect yourself accordingly. In today’s environment, safety management systems for brown water marine operators are standard industry practice, whether they come in the form of the American Waterways Operators (AWO) Responsible Carrier Program (RCP) or the Tanker Safety Management Assessment (TSMA) framework developed by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) for liquid carriers. However, with the full-fledged implementation of Subchapter M on the horizon…

Is Tin Returning in Silicone Hull Coatings?

Photo: Subsea Industries

The reemergence of organotin in marine hull coatings is of increasing concern, with academics and environmentalists calling on International Maritime Organization (IMO) to investigate the use of tin in silicone-based foul release systems and other ships hull coatings. While use of the organotin tributyltin (TBT) was outlawed as an active biocide almost 10 years ago, the IMO is claimed to “have left the door open” for tin as a catalyst, but according to some academics the amount of organotin used suggests it could be acting as the active agent. Dr.

DNV GL Earns DAkkS Accreditation as EU MRV Verifier

From L to R: Oliver Darley, Vice President, Head of Ship Systems, Materials & Components and Nils Wegener, MRV Manager at DNV GL.  (Photo: DNV GL)

Classification society DNV GL has gained the accreditation from German accreditation body DAkkS to verify compliance with the EU Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (EU MRV) regulation. The regulation, part of the EU's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, requires operators to monitor and report on CO2 emissions based on ship fuel consumption. It applies to all merchant ships of 5,000 GT or above calling at EU (and EFTA) ports. “DNV GL has followed the development of the MRV regime since its infancy…

Baltic Index Down as Capesize Rates Sag

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) lidian neeleman)

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Wednesday on weaker rates for larger vessels. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was down 16 points, or 1.24 percent, at 1,278 points. The capesize index lost 90 points, or 4.05 percent, to end at 2,130 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $630 at $15,524.

WIN WIN: Wind Powered Oil Recovery Concept Progresses

The WIN WIN Concept. (Image: DNV GL)

The DNV GL-led joint industry project, WIN WIN (WINd powered Water INjection), has completed its first phase and determined that wind power could be used to power offshore water injection. The project is currently moving into its second phase, which includes refining and testing the electrical systems, and investigating possibilities for broader applications. The project consists of four partners: DNV GL, ExxonMobil and ENI Norge – all part of the first phase – and the Norwegian Research Council – a new participant for this second phase.

Eleven Missing after Bulker Sinks off Crimean Coast

A cargo ship heading from Russia to Turkey sunk off the coast of Crimea early on Wednesday morning and 11 of the crew are missing, Crimea's emergency situations ministry said. It said that the Panama-flagged vessel 'Geroi Arsenala' had sent an SOS signal when it was located 14 nautical miles off the Crimean coast. The Interfax news agency cited Russian transport officials as saying that the ship, whose home port was reported to be Kherson in southern Ukraine, had broken in half during a strong storm and sunk. At least six ships and a helicopter were engaged in a search and rescue operation, the emergency situations ministry said in a statement. Their task was complicated however by high winds and choppy waters.

Antwerp Port Gets off to the Strongest Start Ever

Photo by Port of Antwerp

The port of Antwerp handled 54,324,303 tonnes of freight during the first three months of this year, 1.5% more than in the same period last year. The further growth is mainly due to container freight, which was up by 2% in terms of tonnage. In fact this has been the best first quarter ever, both for total overseas freight and for containers. And on top of all that the previous month was the best for containers that has ever been recorded in the port of Antwerp. All this means that after the record year of 2016 the port of Antwerp is off to a good start.

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.

Warship INS Chennai Set to Sail

Photo: Indian Navy

INS Chennai, a P 15A Guided Missile Destroyer of Indian Navy, was dedicated to the city of Chennai in the presence of Edappadi K Palaniswami, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Dr D Karthikeyan IAS, Commissioner of Chennai and Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Navel Command at an impressive ceremony held onboard the ship at Chennai Port Trust on 17 April 2017. The event was characterised by closely coordinated sequence of drills and events leading to formal unveiling of the plaque by the Chief Minister.

Theodore Roosevelt Hosts "Bridge Talks"

Photo: United States Navy

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) (TR) held the first ever "Bridge Talks" to kick off U.S. Pacific Fleet's (PACFLT) new program "The Bridge," April 12. The Bridge is a program designed to give all Sailors, regardless of rank or experience, an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas for improving the Navy. According to PACFLT, "The Bridge is a belief and a commitment. Rear Adm. Jay Bynum, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, addressed the Theodore Roosevelt crew following the event.

Caspian Sea States Cooperate on Pollution Response

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

International Maritime Organization (IMO) has joined countries and stakeholders concerned with protecting the Caspian Sea from oil pollution at a regional meeting in Bandar-e Anzali, Islamic Republic of Iran (16-20 April). Participants are discussing the implementation of the Aktau Protocol on Regional Preparedness, Response and Cooperation in Combating Oil Pollution Incidents and, in particular, finalization of the Regional Caspian Sea Plan on cooperation in combating oil pollution in emergencies.

US Shipyards: Building for America, Jobs for Americans

In August 2015 General Dynamics NASSCO launched Perla del Caribe, the second ship in a series of natural gas powered containerships for TOTE (Photo: General Dynamics NASSCO)

The shipbuilding and ship repairing industry has always been a core strength of our nation. It has enabled the United States to protect and project its prosperity, power and influence internationally. A book in my office signed by shipbuilder William Webb illustrates the point. Mr. Webb inherited his father’s shipyard in 1840 and built over 130 of the fastest clipper sailing vessels; he later built the largest and most celebrated steamships of his era. Those were glory years for the U.S. maritime industry, an era when the shipping industry was synonymous with American sovereignty.

Banned at Sea: Venezuela's Crude-stained Oil Tankers

File photo (© Jose Gil / Adobe Stock)

In the scorching heat of the Caribbean Sea, workers in scuba suits scrub crude oil by hand from the hull of the Caspian Galaxy, a tanker so filthy it can't set sail in international waters. The vessel is among many that are constantly contaminated at two major export terminals where they load crude from Venezuela's state-run oil company, PDVSA. The water here has an oily sheen from leaks in the rusty pipelines under the surface. That means the tankers have to be cleaned before traveling to many foreign ports…

Daewoo Shipbuilding unlocks $2.6 bln Bailout

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carabay)

Bondholders at final meetings agree to debt-to-equity swap; shipbuilder needs about $400 mln in operating funds by April-end. South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd has won near unanimous agreement from bondholders to swap their debt for equity, meeting a condition that unlocks a $2.6 billion bank bailout for the world's biggest shipbuilder. Daewoo won approval from over 96 percent of bondholders at two meetings on Tuesday and three on Monday, with attendance exceeding 78 percent.

Weaker Capesize Rates Weigh on Baltic Index

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Lidian Neeleman)

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Tuesday on weaker rates for capesize vessels. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was down two points, or 0.15 percent, at 1,294 points. The capesize index lost 29 points, or 1.29 percent, to close at 2,220 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $207 to $16,154.

Nearly 9,000 Med Migrants Rescued over Weekend

Nearly 9,000 mainly African migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean this past long weekend after being put by smugglers in Libya onto unseaworthy boats heading toward Italy, U.N. aid agencies said on Tuesday. The migrants, many from Nigeria and Senegal with some from Bangladesh, are among an estimated 20,000 held by criminal gangs in irregular detention centres in Libya, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said. On release, they pay to board the overcrowded boats, often just inflated rubber vessels that could not cross the Mediterranean, in the hope of starting a new life in Europe. "It is obvious that better spring weather has encouraged smugglers to take people from their detention centres," IOM spokesman Leonard Doyle told a news briefing in Geneva.

Sovcomflot Holds PDVSA Oil Hostage over Debts

Venezuela's state-run oil company, PDVSA, sent a tanker in October to the Caribbean with the expectation that its cargo of crude would fetch about $20 million - money the crisis-stricken nation desperately needs. Instead, the owner of the tanker, the Russian state-owned shipping conglomerate Sovcomflot, held the oil in hopes of collecting partial payment on $30 million that it says PDVSA owes for unpaid shipping fees. Despite a longstanding alliance between Venezuela and Russia, Sovcomflot sued PDVSA in St. Maarten, a Dutch island on the northeast end of the Caribbean. "The ship owners ... imposed garnishment on the aforementioned oil cargo," reads a March decision by the St. Maarten court.

Pacific Partnership Arrives in Kuching

Photo: United States Navy

Pacific Partnership 2017 (PP17) and Malaysian partners embarked aboard expeditionary fast transport USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4) arrived in Kuching, Malaysia, Apr. 14. As the second and main mission stop in Malaysia, and the third mission stop overall, activities in Kuching will kick off the large focus on humanitarian aid and disaster response, as well civil engineering projects for Pacific Partnership 2017 Malaysia. According to Lt. j.g. Robin Pepper, the mission's engineering sail-in echelon officer in charge…

Los Angeles Port Cargo Volumes Rise

Photo: Port of Los Angeles

Californian Port of Los Angeles has seen its volumes increase by 10 percent in the first quarter of 2017 as it handled a total of 2.23 million TEUs in the three-month period, compared to 2 million TEU seen in the same quarter a year earlier. “We are pleased to end the first quarter of 2017 with strong volumes and continually efficient cargo handling operations,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. Gene adde: “We continue to earn the confidence of shippers and are encouraged by the strength of our supply chain partners.

Lines in the Water

Photo: Carlos Rivera / U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

There are a variety of jurisdictional lines in the water. The first line to be considered is the national boundary between two adjacent or nearby countries. Adjacent countries tend to draw agreed boundaries extending their shoreside boundaries, with accommodations for headlands, capes, etc. Most national boundaries have been agreed upon long ago. A few, though, are not officially resolved. Somewhat surprisingly, of the four marine boundaries between Canada and the U.S., three are still in dispute.

Minerva Selects Ecochlor BWTS for up to 30 Vessels

Image: Ecochlor

Ecochlor, Inc. informs it has signed an agreement with Minerva Marine, Inc. for the potential supply of ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) for up to 30 vessels under its management for installations in accordance to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) implementation plan. The Ecochlor technology was selected for retrofit in Minerva’s managed bulkers and tankers varying in size from medium range (MR) to very large crude carriers (VLCC).

DP World, Port of Fujairah End Concession Agreement

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Pavel Losevsky)

Dubai-based ports operator DP World said on Sunday it and the Port of Fujairah have agreed to terminate the company's concession agreement to operate the port.   DP World entered into the agreement in 2005 on a build, operate and transfer basis to expand and develop the container terminal in Fujairah, the United Arab Emirates.   Reporting by Tom Arnold 

Daewoo Shipbuilding Bondholders Okay Bailout Plan

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carabay)

Debt-to-equity swap plan is condition of $2.6 bln bailout. South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd on Monday won near unanimous approval for a debt-to-equity swap plan in the first three of five bondholder meetings, as the world's largest shipbuilder battles to stay afloat. The votes were held hours after Daewoo's biggest bondholder, the National Pension Service (NPS), said it had agreed to the proposal. That move made it likely other bondholders would follow suit, creditor bank officials said, allowing the shipbuilder to meet conditions of a $2.6 billion bank bailout.

DSME's Bailout Plan Cleared by Pension Fund

Photo: DSME

South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) agreed to a restructuring of bonds issued by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). Reuters reported that this move is expected to help the world’s largest shipbuilder tide over a financial crisis. NPS stated that accepting the debt restructuring will be more advantageous to improve the fund's returns. The finance crunch hit DSME will likely get more time to make payments on bonds that are due this month. NPS is the biggest holder of the debt.

Taiwan's Home-Grown Submarine to Cost Less

Fast Attack Craft, Guided Missile (FACG). Photo: CSBC Corporation, Taiwan

Taiwan's shipbuilder CSBC Corp's chairman Cheng Wen-lon said that a home-grown submarine will cost less than NT$100 billion (US$3.29 billion) to build. According to a report in Taipei Times, chairman of the local shipbuilder commissioned to plan and design the vessel  also said that much depends on the Navy’s demands: Planned crew sizes, mission length and strategic and tactical requirements would all determine the eventual size of the submarine. Nationally developed ships would be crucial to the company’s future operations…

Clearance for IOC's Kochi LPG Terminal

Logo:  Indian Oil Corporation Ltd

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has given a ‘go ahead’ to Indian Oil Corporation (IOC)’s stalled LPG import terminal project at Puthuvypeen near Kochi in South India. A statement from IOC said that  NGT reaffirmed its previous order dated August 2, 2016, thereby removing the hurdles in resuming its prime infrastructure project in the State. The project work has been stalled since February 15 due to protests, alleging that IOC is violating NGT order. IOC's project was to construct a LPG Import Terminal of six lakh tonne capacity a year at Kochi in Puthuvypeen SEZ of Cochin Port Trust.

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…

MOL Okays Dividend and Share Split

Photo: MOL Group

MOL Shareholders in the Annual General Meeting have accepted the Board’s proposal for HUF 58 bn dividend payment, which was set to allow the Dividend Per Share (DPS) to grow by 10.2% to HUF 625 from last year’s HUF 567. This represents the continuation of the last years’ gradually increasing trend of the regular dividend payment. Shareholders also approved the proposal of the Board of Directors for an 8 for 1 stock split. The current price of one MOL share (around HUF 20,000) is multiple of the share prices of other companies of the BSE premium segment.

Rotterdam’s Container Volume Grows by 8.8% in Q1

Photo: The port of Rotterdam

In the first quarter of 2017, 2.0% more goods passed through the Port of Rotterdam than in the same period last year. The growth in the container sector (8.8% by volume (TEU), 10.8% by weight) is particularly striking, says a press release from the company. Of the 11 different commodities, only mineral oil products and other liquid bulk showed a decrease. The total throughput volume increased to 119.3 million tonnes. Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority: “For containers, this was the best quarter ever, and March was a record month.

Digital Marine Comms: Helping to Protect Our Borders

The SAFE Boats 41-foot Coastal Interceptor Vessel (CIV) with advanced design and technology reaches speeds in excess of 54 knots.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) is responsible for security and facilitation operations at 328 ports of entry throughout the United States. Missions include the pursuit, boarding and searching of suspect vessels, seizing vessels and contraband, and arresting violators. It is a difficult and dangerous job. To that end, CBP recently selected SAFE Boats International to design and build a 41-foot Coastal Interceptor Vessel (CIV) that is up to the task.

Your Ship Has Probably Been Cyber Attacked

Image: ECDIS Ltd

You have either been hacked... or just didn’t know you have been hacked. I predict that the first catastrophic maritime cyber incident will not be the result of a direct attack on a safety critical specific piece of equipment. It will be the result of an infection on a random PC, perhaps an unassuming email to a crew member, whose PC is either connected to the vessels internal super highway or he transmits the infection internally whilst it lies dormant. Crypto locker, or Ransomware software (used by thousands of hackers)…

China's CMG in Talks for Advent's Brazil Port Stake

China Merchants Group Ltd is in advanced talks to buy Advent International Corp's 50 percent stake in TCP Terminal de Contêineres de Paranaguá SA, Brazil's second-busiest container port, O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper said on Thursday. According to Estado, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the transaction, talks with the Chinese state-run company known as CMG gained momentum after Advent's negotiations with Dubai-based DP World Ltd hit a snag. Reuters reported in August that Advent had hired Morgan Stanley & Co and Grupo BTG Pactual SA to sell the TCP stake. Sources said at the time that Advent wanted to fetch a price for the stake that could set a minimum value of 3.5 billion reais ($1.1 billion) for TCP.

Smaller Bulkers Buoy Baltic Index

File Image: a smaller, modern bulk vessel underway (CREDIT: FedNav)

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Thursday, supported by stronger rates for smaller vessel segments even as capesize rates weakened. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 14 points, or 1.09 percent, at 1,296 points. The capesize index lost 3 points, or 0.13 percent, at 2,249 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $74 at $16,361.

May LNG Cargo Prices Fall on Waning Demand

File Image: a typical LNG carrier at sea (CREDIT: MISC)

Asian spot LNG prices edged lower this week amid thin trade for May cargoes and as focus shifts towards June supplies. Spot prices for May delivery of LNG in Asia fell by 35 cents to $5.40 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), as interest for May cargoes weaken because most end-users have already secured their necessary feedstock for the month. Prices for June delivery of LNG in Asia was pegged slightly higher at $5.50/mmBtu amid expectations that demand could return as North Asian buyers begin purchasing cargoes to meet summer demand.

Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group in Hawaii

Photo: United States Navy

Ships and units from the Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group (Sterett-Dewey SAG) arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April 11, the first stop of the group's Western Pacific deployment. The command staff of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31 and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104) and USS Dewey (DDG 105), along with embarked helicopter detachments from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49 and HSM 78, deployed from Naval Base San Diego March 31.

Rotterdam Port Anticipates Climate Change

Photo: Port of Rotterdam Authority

Right now, Rotterdam’s port area is effectively protected against floods. While most of the port area is situated outside the dikes, these port sites are elevated relatively high above sea level and are partly protected by storm surge barriers. Only under particularly extreme weather conditions will a small number of companies be affected by limited flooding. This is one of the conclusions of a recently-completed joint study that focussed on water safety in the port area: the Botlek Water Safety pilot project.

MPC Rolls Out New Box Ship Investment Firm

Photo: MPC Capital AG

MPC Capital AG, an international asset and investment manager, has initiated an investment company with a focus on small-size container ships between 1,000 and 3,000 TEU. The newly formed 'MPC Container Ships AS' raised USD 100 million in equity in a private placement towards international institutional investors and family offices in the Norwegian capital market. Following its corporate investment strategy, MPC Capital is a co-investor. Based on the current pipeline exceeding 100 vessels, capital proceeds are expected to be fully deployed within 2017.

Hudson River: A Battle for Anchorage Grounds Goes Viral

Bruno Bernier / Adobe Stock

Where commercial marine and safety considerations allide with recreational and other peripheral agendas, the discussion can sometimes be contentious. One such example of this reality is now playing out on the Hudson River in New York. On June 9, 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard published a three-page Federal Register notice, seeking public comments on a proposal suggesting new anchorage grounds in the Hudson River, from Yonkers to Kingston, N.Y. Officially, this was an advance notice of proposed rulemaking…

Verifavia Earns Dual Accreditation

Verifavia, an emissions verification company for the aviation and shipping transport sectors, has received a second accreditation by France’s national accreditation body Cofrac as a global EU monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) verifier. This makes Verifavia the first globally accredited verifier to receive dual accreditation under ISO 14065 standard and regulation 757/2015. This new accreditation by Cofrac follows Verifavia’s recent announcement that it received full EU MRV accreditation from the U.K. Accreditation Service (UKAS), enabling the company to assess or verify any ship anywhere in the world, regardless of country of ownership, flag state or class.

Baltic Index Rises as Panamax Rates Hits High

© fresh_water / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Wednesday as panamax rates surged to their highest in over three years and capesize activity firmed up. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, rose for the fourth straight session. The index was up 20 points, or 1.58 percent, at 1,282 points. The panamax index hit its highest since January 2014. The index was up 50 points, or 3.26 percent, at 1,583 points.

Finnlines, Alfa Laval Ink Scrubber Performance Deal

Photo courtesy of Alfa Laval

Finnish shipping operator Finnlines, part of the Grimaldi Group, has placed a service order with Alfa Laval to optimize the performance of its existing Alfa Laval PureSOx scrubber systems. The performance agreement was tailored for Finnlines using the Alfa Laval 360° Service Portfolio, a structured selection of defined service offerings. The Alfa Laval performance agreement with Finnlines covers PureSOx systems installed on board seven RoRo vessels: Finnpulp, Finnmill, Finnhawk, Finnkraft, Finncarrier, Finnmaster and Finnmerchant.

Somali Forces Clash With Pirates, Free Indian Ship Crew

Somali security forces clashed with pirates early on Wednesday and freed nine seamen kidnapped on an Indian cargo ship this month, officials said. The pirates seized the dhow Al Kausar off Somalia's coast, part of a surge of attacks after years without a reported incident. The kidnappers took the crew onshore in central Galmudug state on Monday and clashed with troops two days later, the territory's minister for ports and sea transport, Burhan Warsame, said. "We rescued the nine crew and they are healthy and safe," he added. Hirsi Yusuf Barre, mayor of Galkayo town in the area, said the security forces attacked the gang after it tried to move the hostages into an area controlled by the militant group al Shabaab overnight.

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.

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