Mediterranean News

28 Sep 2020

U.S., Greece Call for Peaceful Resolution of East-Med Maritime Disputes

Oruc Reis seismic vessel - Credit: Sergey Moroz

The United States and Greece called on Monday for a peaceful resolution of maritime disputes in the east Mediterranean as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began a two-day trip to Greece amid increased regional tension over energy resources.NATO allies Greece and Turkey, at loggerheads on a range of issues, have agreed to resume exploratory talks over contested maritime claims following weeks of tensions that culminated in a collision between their warships."The United States and Greece ..

18 Sep 2020

World’s Largest LNG Bunkering Vessel Named in Rotterdam

(Photo: Chris Schotanus, Total)

The world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker vessel was officially named during a ceremony held Friday in Rotterdam. The 135.5-meter-long, 18,600-cubic-meter-capacity GTT Mark III Flex membrane vessel has been named Gas Agility.The first LNG bunker vessel owned by Emerald Green Maritime Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), she is chartered by Total’s affiliate Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions (TMFGS).In February 2018, TMFGS and MOL signed a time charter party for the vessel…

17 Sep 2020

Fit for Fight: Navies challenged by COVID at sea, ashore

Fit for the COVID Fight: Sailors stand in ranks before manning the rails of Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Photos: U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Christian Huntington

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, navies adjusted how they operate at home and while deployed, to keep their forces ready for any missions as they keep their Sailors, families, communities, as well as allies and partners safe from the coronavirus.Navies have taken a number of prudent preventative measures to limit outbreaks, mitigate cases of infection and reduce the community spread of the virus.Speaking during his May 29 “On The Horizon: Navigating the European and African Theaters” podcast, Admiral James G. Foggo III, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, said The U.S.

16 Sep 2020

DP World to Partner with Israeli Firm in Bid for Haifa Port

© LevT / Adobe Stock

Dubai's DP World is partnering with an Israeli group to bid for one of Israel's two main ports and to examine opening a direct shipping line between the two Middle East states, it said on Wednesday.The announcement came a day after Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed an historic agreement to normalize ties, and marks a big development in trade and economic collaboration.Dubai state-owned DP World, which operates ports from Hong Kong to Buenos Aires, signed a series of agreements with Israel's DoverTower including a joint bid in the privatization of Haifa Port on the Mediterranean…

16 Sep 2020

East Mediterranean Dispute: Cyprus Willing to Talk with Turkey 'Without Threats'

 Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades -  Credit: Cyprus Government

Cyprus is ready to engage in talks with Turkey to resolve differences but only "without blackmail and threats", President Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday.The two countries are locked in a dispute over drilling rights in the Mediterranean, and Turkey said on Tuesday it had extended a drilling vessel's operations in disputed waters off Cyprus until Oct. 12."Nicosia has been always ready for a dialogue but for that ... to be effective, it needs to be clearly defined based on international law…

14 Sep 2020

Migrants Rescued by Danish Tanker Land in Italy After 40 Days at Sea

Maersk Etienne (Photo: Maersk Tankers)

A group of migrants who had been blocked aboard a tanker in the Mediterranean for more than a month were allowed to land in Sicily on Saturday after Italy agreed to take them in, NGO Mediterranea said.The 25 people still at sea disembarked late on Saturday in the port town of Pozzallo, in Sicily, in southern Italy, due to health reasons, ending a “nightmare”, the statement said.“The longest and most shameful stand-off of European maritime history ends,” Mediterranea tweeted after the landing.The migrants had been transferred on Friday to the Italian charity ship Mare Jonio…

11 Sep 2020

Maltese Firms Partner on Maritime Training

Andrea Lodolo, CEO of MaritimeMT (left) and Kevin Keeler, International Sales Director of ISTC (right) at MaritimeMT’s Center. (Photo: MaritimeMT)

Two Maltese maritime training and contingency management training organizations will be offering a new set of integrated courses from 2021 after agreeing a memorandum of understanding earlier this month.The Mediterranean Maritime Research and Training Center (MaritimeMT) and the International Safety Training College (ISTC) will create a new set of courses covering both maritime training and the oil and gas sectors offering some of the highest training standards in these industry sectors from January 2021.MaritimeMT…

10 Sep 2020

UAE Ship Stopped on Suspicion of Arms Smuggling

(Photo: Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI)

A European Union naval vessel on Thursday stopped a ship that was carrying jet fuel from the United Arab Emirates to Libya on suspicion it was violating a United Nations arms embargo, EU officials said.The EU military mission, named Irini, is operating in the Mediterranean to stop arms from reach warring factions in Libya.The mission said in a statement that a German frigate, supported by an Italian frigate, stopped the merchant vessel Royal Diamond 7 just after dawn in international waters…

10 Sep 2020

Energean Power FPSO to Set Sail from Singapore in Summer of 2021, Energean Says

Credit: Energean

Oil and gas company Energean, working to develop its Karish field offshore Israel, expects that the FPSO being built for the eastern Mediterranean Sea project will set sail from Singapore in the summer of 2021. The London-listed company shared the info as part of its first-half results presentation on Thursday.The FPSO, called Energean Power, is currently in Singapore where the China-built hull is being fitted with topside modules. The first module was installed on August 24.Mathios Rigas…

09 Sep 2020

Shipping Execs Call for Action to Resolve Maersk Etienne Standstill

(Photo: Maersk Tankers)

Several shipping industry executives have voiced their support for Maersk Tankers and are demanding government action to debark nearly 30 migrants from one of its tankers stranded off Malta.Maersk Tankers said its operated tanker Maersk Etienne has been stuck at sea since August 4 when its crew rescued 27 migrants from a wooden dinghy that had been adrift for days. Maltese, Tunisian, Italian and Libyan authorities have denied entry, leaving the migrants to sleep on mattresses and blankets on board…

04 Sep 2020

Maersk Captain Calls for Help for Migrants Stuck on Board

(Photo: Maersk Tankers)

The captain of a tanker that rescued 27 migrants at sea, including a pregnant woman, is calling for immediate help as conditions worsen on board after a month anchored off the coast of Malta having been denied entry by several countries.The migrants have no critical physical issues, but mentally the situation is getting desperate, the Maersk Etienne captain said, saying one migrant had threatened to jump overboard.“We had a difficult time convincing him that jumping overboard will probably kill him.

03 Sep 2020

Carnival's Shares Surge as Costa Cruises Prepares to Sail

Costa Cruises is initially restarting sailing with two ships, Costa Deliziosa (pictured) and Costa Diadema, calling Italian ports. The one-week itineraries are being reserved exclusively for Italian guests. (Photo: Costa Cruises)

Carnival Corp’s shares surged 11% on Thursday after its Italian brand Costa Cruises said two of its ships would resume sailing this weekend, with more to follow.Cruise companies, among the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, were forced to halt voyages for months after ships in Japan, Australia and California made headlines because of large numbers of infections onboard.So far this year, Carnival’s shares have lost nearly two-thirds of their value, while peer Royal Caribbean Cruises Group has lost about 45% and Norwegian Cruise Line Holding Ltd about 67%.Shares of Royal Caribbean were up 6% an

31 Aug 2020

Turkey Extends Exploration in Disputed Eastern Mediterranean

© Sergey Moroz / MarineTraffic.com

Turkey said on Monday that its Oruc Reis exploration vessel will carry out seismic surveys in a disputed area of the eastern Mediterranean until Sept. 12, provoking an angry response from neighboring Greece.Turkey and Greece, NATO allies, vehemently disagree over claims to hydrocarbon resources in the area based on conflicting views on the extent of their continental shelves in waters dotted with mostly Greek islands.Both sides have held military exercises in the east Mediterranean…

31 Aug 2020

EU Calls for End to Tensions in East Mediterranean

Turkish Navy vessels escorting the Oruc Reis seismic vessel - Credit: Turkish Defense Ministry

The European Union's executive called on Monday for dialogue with Turkey and demanded that Ankara refrains from unilateral steps that stoke tensions in eastern Mediterranean.Should dialogue not bear fruit, a spokesman for the European Commission told a briefing on Monday, the EU has already moved towards sanctions.That came after the 27 EU foreign ministers discussed last week tensions between the bloc's members Greece and Cyprus and Turkey, a NATO ally. A senior EU diplomat said separately on Friday of the situation:"As well as sticks (sanctions)…

31 Aug 2020

Italy Sends Help to Banksy's Overcrowded Migrant Rescue Vessel

Banksy's Louise Michel vessel - Credit: Christian Herrou/MarineTraffic

The Italian coastguard sent help on Saturday to a rescue boat funded by British street artist Banksy after the vessel issued urgent calls for assistance, saying it was stranded in the Mediterranean and overloaded with migrants.The coastguard said a patrol boat dispatched from the southern Italian island of Lampedusa had taken on board 49 of "those considered most vulnerable" among the 219 migrants picked up by the ship since Thursday off the coast of Libya.Named after a French feminist anarchist, the Louise Michel started operating last week.

29 Aug 2020

Med Exploration Dispute Draw EU Sanctions for Turkey

© Feng Yu/AdobeStock

The European Union is preparing sanctions against Turkey that could be discussed at the bloc's next summit on Sept. 24 in response to the eastern Mediterranean dispute with Greece, the EU's top diplomat said on Friday.The measures, meant to limit Turkey's ability to explore for natural gas in contested waters, could include individuals, ships or the use of European ports, Josep Borrell said. The EU would focus on everything related to "activities we consider illegal", he added.He…

27 Aug 2020

NATO Seeks to Avoid Accidents in East Med Dispute

Frigates and corvettes of the Turkish Naval Forces escorting ORUC REÄ°S seismic vessel while conducting surveys in the Eastern Mediterranean - Credit: Turkish Defense Ministry

NATO is looking at ways to avoid accidental clashes in the Eastern Mediterranean while supporting German diplomatic efforts to defuse the worsening dispute over energy resources there, the alliance’s chief said on Thursday.NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Reuters the Western alliance was considering so-called deconfliction measures to prevent naval accidents in an increasingly congested region, although he did not go into details.“I am also exploring the possibilities of NATO developing mechanisms to prevent incidents and accidents, a set of deconfliction mechanisms,” Stoltenberg s

26 Aug 2020

Greece Plans to Extend its Western Territorial Waters

© Sergey / Adobe Stock

Greece plans to extend the western limit of its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea to 12 miles, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday.Italy and Albania, who also have Ionian coasts, have been officially informed about Greece’s plans and a bill on the matter will be submitted to parliament soon, Mitsotakis said.“Greece will extend its western territorial waters to 12 nautical miles from six,” Mitsotakis told lawmakers during a debate on whether to approve an accord…

26 Aug 2020

PHOTO: First Topside Module Installed on Energean Power FPSO

Credit: Energean

First topside module was lifted and installed earlier this week on the Energean Power FPSO hull at Sembcorp Marine's Admiralty Yard in Singapore.Oil and gas company Energean said that the electrical house (E-house), which contains all the FPSO control equipment and electrical switchgear, was lifted onto the Energean Power hull on the 24th August. The E-house, weighing in at 850 tonnes, was lifted using the L-801 Barge pontoon crane, with lift preparation starting early morning…

20 Aug 2020

How Will the Cruise Industry Recover from Coronavirus?

MSC Grandiosa in Genoa (Photo: MSC Cruises)

On Sunday the first major cruise ship to take to the Mediterranean in almost five months sailed out of the Italian city of Genoa. Passengers on the MSC Grandiosa were tested for coronavirus before stepping on board. The ship—which has brought in an array of strict measures to limit the spread of the virus—will stop at three Italian ports and the Maltese capital Valletta in a seven-day voyage. But will these measures be enough to help the sector survive the pandemic? A lot is riding on the success of this Italian cruise.After all…

20 Aug 2020

Fincantieri Floats Out MSC Seashore

(Photo: Fincantieri)

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri announced Thursday it has floated out the new cruise ship MSC Seashore at its shipyard in Monfalcone. The vessel has been moved to a wet dock where interior outfitting work will continue until delivery to MSC Cruises in July 2021.MSC Seashore, which will be MSC Cruises’ longest ship at 339 metres and the largest and most innovative ever built in Italy, is the third of four vessels in MSC Cruises’ Seaside class, following MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview launched in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

20 Aug 2020

Maersk Tanker Caught at Sea After Rescuing Migrants off Malta

(Photo: Sea-Watch)

A Maersk oil tanker has been anchored off the coast of Malta for two weeks after rescuing 27 migrants, including a child and a pregnant woman, with authorities in Malta and Tunisia denying the vessel entry, the company said on Wednesday.The crew of Maersk Etienne, an oil tanker owned by Denmark's Maersk Tankers, rescued the migrants following a request from Maltese officials on August 4, the company said.The migrants' wooden dinghy that had been at sea for days sank immediately after the rescue operation…

19 Aug 2020

Port of Baltimore Sets Cargo Moves Record

(Photo: MDOT Maryland Port Administration—Port of Baltimore)

The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal topped its record for most container moves from a single ship.The 5,536 container moves conducted by longshore workers handling the Maersk Edinburgh over three days was the largest number of moves for a single ship in the port’s 314-year history, surging past the previous record of 5,181 moves set last year.“This record container activity is a significant milestone for the Port of Baltimore and a sign that the maritime shipping industry is coming back and fueling Maryland’s economic recovery,” said Governor Larry Hogan.

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