Marine Link
Monday, October 23, 2017

Malta News

IMO Regional Pollution Centre Assists Greece Oil Spill Clean-up

Photo:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The International Maritime Organization (IMO)-administered Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) is providing technical expertise to help clean up beaches in Greece affected by an oil spill. Two experts are in Greece (8 to 14 October) to give technical support on sunken oil assessment, removal techniques and efficient oil removal from sandy beaches. This follows the sinking of the AGIA ZONI II, off Piraeus, on 10 September. The experts are from the Centre of Documentation…

Malta Drydocks Gets New Leader

Malta appointed the head of Malta Shipbuilding as chairman of Malta Drydocks, pointing to closer cooperation between the two loss-making firms. The Department of Information said former banker John Cassar White, chairman of Malta Shipbuilding for almost two years, would also head Malta Drydocks from February. He will take over from Noel Zarb Adami.

Malta Rolls out First Ever Maritime Summit

Image: Government of Malta

The first Malta Maritime Summit, an opportunity for international and Maltese stakeholders to raise and discuss common interests, will be held on 3-6 October, ahead of the start of Malta’s presidency of the European Council in January 2017. The international event that will consolidate the present Government's will to establish the country as a centre of maritime excellence, says Joe Mizzi, the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure. Malta has always been a maritime nation as its location has made it historically the most sought after island in the Mediterranean…

Malta Shakes Up Shipyard Business

Malta's government reportedly launched a wide-ranging reform of its loss-making shipyards to make the industry financially viable. This reform apparently means the winding up of state-owned Malta Drydocks Corporation and Malta Shipbuilding and the transfer of their assets and liabilities to the government. A new company, called Malta Shipyards, is to be set up to absorb some of the workers under new working conditions. Dockyard facilities would be rented to the new company by the government.

Malta Drydocks Re-Organized

Malta’s government must feel (rightfully so) that an $87 million bailout give it management entitlement of beleaguered Malta Drydocks. The government is reorganizing the management of Malta Drydocks in an attempt to revitalize a scant (estimated) one percent of ship repair work in the Mediterranean. Apart from restructuring management, the new business plan would introduce new work practices to increase productivity and beef up marketing, he said. The plan calls for the yard to work closely with Malta Shipbuilding, and share the same chairman.

Malta Flag Reaches Record Tonnage in 2015

Image: Transport Malta

Transport Malta, the Authority responsible for the Malta Ship Register, through its Merchant Shipping Directorate, reports a strong and positive performance for 2015. The Maltese Register of Shipping saw an increase of almost 8.3 million gross tonnage in 2015, representing a growth rate of 14.3 percent compared to the year before, Transport Malta said. The registered gross tonnage under the Merchant Shipping Act was 66.2 million gross tons, as of  December 2015. These statistics represent record figures for the Malta Flag and a significant achievement for the Malta Flag Administration…

Global Entities Convene for Maritime Career Day

Maritime Careers Day - Flyer

The Malta Maritime Careers Day will see the participation of three eminent international entities in its first year of staging. These will be ICOMIA - the International Council of Marine Industry Associations, SNAME - The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers - based in Virginia, U.S. and the IMO International Maritime Law Institute. The objective of the Malta Maritime Careers Day is to bring together professionals, educators and leading industry players to discuss and encourage the improvement in academic and practical training for the common benefit of interested students…

Yachting Malta PPP Sets Sail

Commodore Godwin Zammit. Photo by the Royal Malta Yacht Club

Yatching Malta Ltd (YML) - a new public private partnership (PPP) between the government and the Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC) was formed with the aim of putting Malta on "the global yachting map". Prime Minister Joseph Muscat launched YML at the club's headquarters in Ta Xbiex. The PPP will be headed by the club's commodore Godwin Zammit and has a two-year rolling business plan. The RMYC-Yachting Malta Ltd (a joint venture) has a 49% stake in the long-term project while the government, through Malta Projects Ltd. has the majority shareholding - 51%.

Yachting in Malta, Superyacht Industry Seminar

Prince Abdulaziz, one of the yachts of the Saudi Royal Family (Photo by Capt. Lawrence Dalli, Malta Ship Photos, 2011.)

The International Superyacht Society (ISS) announced its collaboration with Wilfred Sultana & Associates in presenting the Superyacht Industry Seminar, The Way Forward, being conducted in Malta, Friday 29 April 2011. Similar to the seminar presented in 2009, foreign and local speakers will again take the podium. While two years ago the theme was ‘The Superyacht Industry’, this year the forum focuses more on the Malta yachting scenario while underlining the demanding requisites of superyachts.

Malta Drydocks Gets New Leader

Malta last Wednesday appointed the head of Malta Shipbuilding as chairman of Malta Drydocks, pointing to closer cooperation between the two loss-making firms. The Department of Information said former banker John Cassar White, chairman of Malta Shipbuilding for almost two years, would also head Malta Drydocks from February. He will take over from Noel Zarb Adami. The new Malta Drydocks board will include former central bank governor Emanuel Ellul, former Labor minister Joe Micallef Stafrace and Anglu Fenech, former general secretary of the General Workers Union. Workers will elect one director to the board, instead of four previously.

Italy Breaks up Libyan Fuel Smuggling Ring

Sicilian police on Wednesday sought the arrest of nine people, including a suspected mobster, for running a Libyan fuel-smuggling ring in which at least 30 million euros ($35 million) of diesel was sold in gas stations in Italy and Europe. A Libyan, nicknamed the "boss", used small boats to steal fuel from a refinery in Zawiya, a port city west of Tripoli, a statement from the finance police said. The fuel, stolen from Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC), was then transferred to a larger ship off the coast of Malta and brought to Italy. Police from the Sicilian city of Catania "documented in detail 30 voyages in which more than 80 million kilos of diesel fuel was imported," the statement said.

CMA CGM Launches Direct Service to Black Sea

Map: CMA CGM

In line with its strategy for the development of short lines in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, the CMA CGM Group has rolled out the Black Sea Med Express service, which connects the major countries around the Black Sea (Turkey, Romania and Ukraine) to Algeria and Morocco. The service will be CMA CGM's first to offer a weekly connection between the main ports of the Black Sea and Aegean Sea with the North of Morocco (Tangier and Casablanca) and Algeria (Annaba) in order to develop the activity between The Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea with short lines.

Malta Drydocks Loses $7M Conversion Contract

Hebridean Island Cruises has pulled out of a $7 million conversion contract with Malta Drydocks and awarded it to a British yard instead, the Malta company said on Tuesday. Scotland-based Hebridean had already issued a letter of intent in favour of Malta Drydocks for the conversion of a modern ship into an old style classic cruise liner, the Malta firm said. Malta Drydocks did not reveal the name of the U.K. yard or the name of the cruise liner. The Maltese yard recently won a $6 million contract to convert the tanker Northia, owned by Brovig RDS of the UK, into a floating production storage and off loading unit and another $6 million contract for maintenance work on the U.S. sixth fleet flagship La Salle. – (Reuters)

Malta: Sixth largest Maritime Flag Worldwide

Image: The Merchant Shipping Directorate, Malta

The Malta Ships Register has become the sixth largest maritime flag in the world, according to statistics for 2014, says a report in Fenech & Fenech Advocates. Malta has moved up from seventh place in 2013 and has retained its position as the largest in Europe. The Maltese register has not only registered an increase in gross tonnage but has also continued to attract younger vessels to its fleet whilst retaining high standards. Malta has a centuries old Maritime tradition. The strategic location of the Maltese Islands at heart of the Mediterranean Sea…

Malta Hosts European Shortsea Network Meeting

Photo: European Shortsea Network

European Shortsea Network (ESN) meeting was held in Malta with representatives from 11 European countries at the head office of Malta Freeport Terminals, says a report in Times of Malta. The presidency of the European Shortsea Network is currently held by Malta which also hosts the official registration of the European Shortsea Network as a legal entity. The European Shortsea Network is an association made up of 28 European countries with their main objective being that of promoting shortsea shipping in Europe.

CMA CGM Group Upgrades African Service

Photo: CMA CGM

The CMA CGM Group announced changes to its African service, upgrading its EURAF 4 service to directly connect West Africa to the West Mediterranean markets each week starting July 18, the group announced. Up until now, the EURAF 4 service has been calling the following ports: Tangiers, Lome, Cotonou, Port Gentil, Libreville, Lome and Tangiers. The service upgrade will see added calls in Italy, France, Malta and Spain. Starting July 18, two vessels will be added to the EURAF 4 service so that a total of seven vessels between 2…

Konecranes Receives Third RTG Order

On May 31, Konecranes announced a rubber-tired gantry (RTG) order from Malta Freeport Terminals that included an option for a further ten RTGs. Malta Freeport Terminals has now taken up this option, and in August the companies signed an agreement for the additional ten RTGs. The crane deliveries will start in the second quarter of 2008. This is Konecranes' third RTG order from Malta Freeport Terminals, which after delivery of this order will have 30 Konecranes RTGs in its fleet. The latest order is part of Malta Freeport Terminals' ongoing project to increase terminal capacity in response to growing container traffic. Existing RTGs are being replaced with more productive and reliable cranes to speed up operations and minimize down time.

Malta Opens Investigation into Libya Tanker Incident

The Maltese Government and Transport Malta said they are are investigating the alleged accident involving the Malta registered ship MT Baku, in international waters, off the coast of Libya. The government has been in continuous contact with the owners of the ship and the Libyan authorities, since Sunday evening when the events started to develop. Malta, as the flag State of the ship, made immediate representations with the Libyan Government and it was only after its intervention that the ship sailed to outside Maltese territorial waters. The safety of the crew and the ship was of utmost priority throughout the events. Malta shall continue to pursue the matter with the Libyan authorities in order to ensure that Maltese interests are protected in terms of international maritime law…

Iran Shipping Rising from Sanctions

Image:  IRISL

Malta Freeport has renewed its contracts in Iran with Hafiz Darya Shipping Lines (HDS) in the expectation that sanctions will be removed later this year, according to Times of Malta. Officials in Malta Freeport were perplexing to convince Iranian inhabitant shipping line IRISL to use a port. Iranian national shipping line IRISL – which had some 170 vessels in its heyday – started using Malta Freeport as its Mediterranean hub in 2004 and had become its second largest client. It was first hit by US sanctions in 2009 and unilaterally pulled out of Malta in 2011…

Malta Shipping Register is World's 6th Largest

Picture: Transport Malta

Malta ship register becomes the sixth largest worldwide, remains largest in Europe. As at end of December 2014, the registered gross tonnage under the Merchant Shipping Act was 57.9 million gross tons with over 2,500 merchant vessels fly the Maltese flag. In 2013, Malta ranked in the seventh place. Transport Malta, the Authority responsible for the Malta Ship Register, has reported a strong and positive performance for 2014. The Maltese Register of Shipping registered an increase of almost 6.5 million gross tonnage representing a growth rate of 12.5% over the previous year…

Malta Freeport Chosen by 2 Mega Alliances

Image: Malta Freeport Terminals Ltd

Malta Freeport Terminals have been chosen by two mega shipping alliances -  2M Alliance and Ocean Three Alliance - as their main transshipment hub in the Central Mediterranean. The '2M' Alliance is made up of Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company and the 'Ocean Three Alliance' is composed of  CMA CGM, China Shipping Container Lines and United Arab Shipping Company. Malta Freeport statement said that this was a significant accomplishment for its terminals which clearly…

An Ocean for Life

Photo:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Over the last few decades, marine environments have undergone widespread deterioration. To help turn this tide, the Our Ocean Conference 2017 held in Malta (2-3 October) brought together world leaders looking to commit to actions to reduce marine pollution, manage aquatic resources sustainably, mitigate climate change, and set up marine sanctuaries. International Maritime Organization (IMO) attended the conference and reaffirmed its commitments made at the UN Oceans Conference in New York in June 2017 to develop…

Malta To Work on Navy Ship

Malta's biggest trade union directed its members to carry out a refit of a U.S. warship, after some workers complained that the project compromised Malta's neutrality and refused to work on it. "Work on the USS La Salle may be carried out," General Workers' Union (GWU) general secretary Tony Zarb said. The $8 million refit of the U.S. Sixth Fleet flagship was thrown into doubt when the GWU's shipyards section, which represents the bulk of workers at Malta Drydocks, said its delegates had decided not to work on the ship. The dockyards' management submitted its resignation, but Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami refused to accept this and warned that his government would stop all financial aid to the loss-making drydocks if not enough workers were available to carry out the work.

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