Ninety North Korean Ships Granted Entry to Japan
Ninety North Korean vessels were granted certificates to enter Japanese ports in the eight months since a new law that bans entry of any ship without insurance took effect, according to a Daily Yomiuri report. The law on liability for oil pollution damage, which came into force on March 1, requires vessels of 100 tons or larger to be insured before docking in Japan. It had been viewed as a de facto economic sanction, as it was believed that most North Korean vessels would not fulfill the law's requirements and therefore would be unable to dock in Japan. But according to the report, some Liberal Democratic Party members recently said more North Korean vessels had insurance coverage than they had expected. Source: Daily Yomiuri
Canada to Ban Tankers off North British Columbia
Canada's Liberal government has introduced legislation for a moratorium on oil tanker traffic along the northern coast of the British Columbia province, the country's transport department said on Friday, delivering on an election promise. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered the ban soon after the election in 2015, in which he took power on a pledge to balance resource development with protecting the environment. Friday's bill will likely pass because Trudeau's Liberals hold a majority in Parliament.
Canadian Shipbuilding Effort Hits Stormy Sea
The future of a government program to revive western Canadian shipbuilding remains clouded after investigators released a damning report about cost overruns and bureaucratic bungling. The directors of the B.C. Ferries Corp. resigned after auditors alleged the cost of designing and building a new type of high-speed catamaran ferry had risen from the originally planned $137.9 million to approximately $288.9 million. The report was the latest bad news to buffet the Pacificat fast ferry project, which was launched in 1994 in hopes of developing and building a lightweight passenger ship in British Columbia that could be marketed internationally.
U.N. Bans Four Ships over N.Korea Coal, U.S. Mulls Four More
The United Nations Security Council has banned four ships from ports globally for carrying coal from North Korea, including one vessel that also had ammunition, but the United States postponed a bid to blacklist four others pending further investigation. The vessels are the first to be designated under stepped-up sanctions imposed on North Korea by the 15-member council in August and September over Pyongyang's sixth and largest nuclear test and two long-range ballistic missile launches.
Australia Senator Pushes Aussie Sub Parts on Japan
An influential Australian senator has asked Japan to buy components for its Soryu submarines from Australian companies to boost its chances of winning a major contract to supply Canberra with a fleet of submarines. Independent South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon made the request to submarine builders Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd as well as government officials in a series of meetings in Japan this week. "What could be a game changer in their bid and in the relationship between the two countries in terms of defence cooperation is for components to be built in Australia," Xenophon said during an interview in Tokyo on Thursday.
U.S. Senators Urge Obama to Block Arctic Oil Drilling
A group of 18 mostly Democratic U.S. senators on Friday urged the Obama administration to stop Royal Dutch Shell's preparations for oil exploration in the Arctic, saying the region has a severely limited capacity to respond to accidents. The senators, from both coasts and several Midwestern states, sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, urging her to retire Arctic leases in the Chukchi Sea. Jewell's department earlier this month conditionally approved Shell's exploration plan in the Arctic.
U.S. Lawmakers Call Chinese Actions In South China Sea 'Troubling'
Six U.S. senators urged their colleagues on Friday to support legislation reaffirming U.S. support for freedom of navigation, saying they consider China's recent actions in the South China Sea troubling. China this week accused Vietnam of intentionally colliding with its ships in the South China Sea after Vietnam asserted that Chinese vessels used water cannon and rammed eight of its vessels during the weekend near an oil rig China deployed in a disputed area. "These actions threaten the free flow of global commerce in a vital region…
Korea Accedes to the IMSO Convention
The IMSO Director General, Captain Esteban Pacha-Vicente, today announced that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has acceded to the IMSO Convention, bringing the total membership to 98. Captain Pacha has formally welcomed the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the membership of IMSO and expresses his satisfaction for the increased interest of nonmember States, which are considering or in the process of joining IMSO, in the activities of the Organization. Captain Pacha continues to promote the values of IMSO and to encourage both Member and non-member States to be actively involved in the activities of the Organization.
Korea Ratifies Wreck Removal Treaty
International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks has been ratified by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, bringing the total number of States to accede to the treaty to 35. The Convention, which entered into force in 2015, provides the legal basis for States to remove, or have removed, shipwrecks that may threaten the safety of lives, goods and property at sea, as well as the marine environment. The Convention was adopted in 2007 and its Contracting States currently represent just over 60% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage.
Tony Abbott Guarantees Submarine Jobs
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has assured South Australians there will be more submarine jobs here even if he won’t commit to having a new fleet of vessels built there, as Liberal MPs fear voter backlash if the contract for Australia’s next-generation fleet goes to Japan. "Whatever happens, I can give an absolute, categoric guarantee there will be more sub jobs in South Australia and I think that's what South Australians understandably want," he said in response to to reports some…
B.C. Seeks End to Offshore Drilling Ban
British Columbia's government is pushing to end a nearly four-decades-old ban on offshore oil and natural gas drilling to encourage exploration, Bloomberg reported. Fields off Canada's westernmost province's shores hold as much as 10 billion barrels of oil and 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to government estimates. It could be the biggest offshore reserves for any province based on these estimates, topping Newfoundland on the east coast. British Columbia is working to get a federal and provincial ban lifted. Talks with the former Liberal Party government started four years ago with limited progress. The province will now negotiate with the new Conservative Party government of Stephen Harper, a native of the oil-rich province of Alberta.
Australian LNG investment is at risk, but not as much as feared
The Australian oil and gas industry is telling everybody that a second wave of investment in liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants is at risk unless labour and regulatory costs are cut. The companies are unlikely to get all that they want. In fact they may not get very much at all out of the labour unions and the federal and state governments. But it may not matter that much, because even with its high costs Australia remains one of the best places to invest the billions of dollars needed to develop a large-scale LNG project. Australia currently has seven LNG plants under construction. When all are completed by 2018 the nation will be the largest exporter of the super-cooled fuel, overtaking Qatar.
Shipbuilding Needs Long-Term Contracts
According to a report from the Canadian Press, Liberal Senator Colin Kenny said that the Canadian conservative government must sign long-term contracts with shipyards and seek political consensus to ensure that projects, which stretch over decades, reach completion. (Source: The Canadian Press)
Helen Delich Bentley Dies at 92
Helen Delich Bentley, a former journalist and a U.S. Republican congresswoman from Maryland who gained global attention by smashing Japanese goods to protest Tokyo's trade policies, died over the weekend at the age of 92, officials said. Bentley upset a longtime Democratic congressman to win a U.S. House of Representatives seat in 1984, a year in which Ronald Reagan's landslide victory in the presidential race helped bring several new faces from the party to Congress. The five-term congresswoman was a staunch advocate for the port of Baltimore and the state's maritime industry.
BV to Operate Single Window in Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has awarded the consortium Bureau Veritas BIVAC B.V. / Soget, the concession to set up and operate the Single Window for facilitating trade. “This Single Window for international trade facilitation is a true modern platform that will simplify and secure business processes. It will help to create a new stakeholders trade community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”, said Stéphane Gaudechon, Vice President, Government Services & International Trade, at Bureau Veritas, on Friday, October 3, 2014 at the official launching ceremony in Kinshasa.
Members of Congressional Committee to Visit Port of Houston
Members of Congressional Committee to Visit Port of Houston Democratic members of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security will visit the Port of Houston tomorrow. The democratic members of the congressional committee are reviewing port security strategies and tactics. The Port of Houston Authority (PHA) has applied for approximately $13 million in port security grant funds. Grants are expected to be awarded in May. Congress has approved an additional $150 million in port security grants for FY 2003. These funds will be available after the $105 million in supplemental congressional funds for FY 2002 have been awarded.
Taiwan To Evaluate China Trade Policy
Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian said his administration will review a decades-old ban on direct trade, transport and postal links with mainland China, saying the policy was "outdated, rigid and inflexible." Chen, inaugurated in the island's first democratic transfer of power, added that his speech was a statement of his broader vision for the wealthy, democratic island. He pledged to review the policy as long as national security can be assured. Taiwan has banned direct trade, transport and postal links with China since the Nationalists lost a civil war to the Communists on the mainland and fled into exile in Taiwan in 1949.
Subsea 7 Acquires Normand Oceanic
Subsea 7 S.A. has announced an agreement to acquire the remaining 50% shareholdings in its equity accounted joint ventures, Normand Oceanic AS and Normand Oceanic Chartering AS, from Solstad Farstad ASA for a nominal cash consideration. Effective from the date of the transaction, the Group will become the sole owner of Normand Oceanic, a flex-lay and heavy construction vessel that is being managed by Solstad Farstad while under long-term charter to a third party. The Group will assume all obligations related to an outstanding loan of approximately $100 million.
Obama Announces Actions On Renewable Energy
President Barack Obama announced steps on Friday to increase the use of solar panels, boost energy efficiency in federal buildings and train more people to work in the renewable energy field. "It's the right thing to do for the planet," Obama said, standing in the outdoor lighting display section of a WalMart store that features roof-top solar panels and a charging station for electric vehicles, among other energy-saving retrofits. The president used the stop to show how major corporations have committed to increasing the generation of solar power at their facilities.
U.S. Senate Moves To Debate Energy Savings Bill; Keystone Bid Stalls
The U.S. Senate agreed on Tuesday to advance a bipartisan energy efficiency bill, but it could die unless lawmakers end a stalemate on how to proceed with the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline project. The Senate voted 79-20 to move toward a debate on the energy bill, making it the first big energy legislation to reach the Senate floor since 2007. Sponsored by Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, the White House-backed bill would save energy through tougher building codes and by making the federal governmentinstall new technologies.
China Angered by U.S. Frigate Sale to Taiwan
U.S. arms sales to Taiwan attract strong opposition from Beijing. China expressed anger on Friday after the U.S. State Department said it had authorized the sale of two surplus U.S. Navy frigates to Taiwan for $190 million, subject to congressional approval, amid rising tension in the South China Sea. China considers self-ruled Taiwan a wayward province, to be brought under its control by force if necessary. Defeated Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan in 1949 after the Chinese civil war. U.S. arms sales to democratic Taiwan always attract strong opposition from Beijing, though they have not ended up causing lasting damage to ties between China and the United States or between China and Taiwan.
STCW List of Confirmed Parties Expanded
The List of countries assessed to be properly implementing the revised STCW Convention (STCW 95) has been updated by IMO. The First Extraordinary Session of the Organization's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), meeting on November 27 and 28, received reports from IMO Secretary-General William O'Neil confirming that a further eight Member States had communicated information demonstrating that they were giving "full and complete effect" to the relevant provisions of the Convention. The List of Confirmed Parties now comprises 102 States and one IMO Associate Member. A position on the list entitles other parties to the STCW Convention to accept…
Australia Accelerates Naval Shipbuilding Efforts
Australia will speed up plans to build more naval vessels in domestic shipyards, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Monday, making an announcement that could find favour with voters just weeks ahead of a likely federal election. Naval shipbuilding is a key part of a plan unveiled in February to boost defence spending by nearly A$30 billion ($23.02 billion) over the next 10 years. To speed up the plan, the construction of 12 offshore patrol vessels, worth A$3 billion ($2.30 billion) would now start in 2018, Turnbull said, though the government has still to award the contract. "Putting our navy in the right situation to keep us safe and putting our naval ship building industry in the right place to build the ships we need for the future is a great national endeavour…