Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 23/07/2014
1. German Shipping Under Threat
Germany, which currently is home to the world’s biggest container vessel fleet, will in future have fewer small shipping firms as European banks avoid the industry and American and Asian financiers focus on bigger peers, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). As shipowners face pressure to put more fuel-efficient vessels into service to get better rates, they will need to team up with peers in alliances or mergers to tap financing sources, according to PwC’s Claus Brandt. Smaller shipping companies will bid farewell to the market, because they don’t have access to financing sources. This could hit the German model hard.
2. Extension for EU Mission in Somalia
The EU Foreign Affairs Council, has extended the mandate of the EU mission on regional maritime capacity building in the Horn of Africa (EUCAP Nestor) until 12 December 2016. This civilian mission forms part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to fighting piracy in the Horn of Africa, alongside the EU Naval Force Somalia and the EU training mission for Somalia, said the Council in a statement. Around 50 international experts from 11 EU member states work in the mission, which is based in Niamey. It has a budget of 9.2 million euro for the period until July 2015.
3. Confidence Tricks Rock Shipping
When we hear that “confidence is increasing” among members of the ship-operating community, should we raise our glasses and loudly voice our pleasure at this revelation of imminent recovery? Or should we mutter “here we go again” and prepare for the next burst of enthusiastic over-ordering? When Accountants Moore Stephens conclude that “confidence is softening”, maybe we should not be ashamed to admit feelings of relief. There is nothing inherently wrong about being “counter cyclical”, in a business where timing is everything, but where too many supposedly clever people seem to make a career of getting this spectacularly wrong.
4. Eco Phoenix From The Flames
MSC FLAMINIA, the vessel which was nearly lost in flames, has been repaired and is about to emerge from a Romanian yard back into scheduled service for MSC. After the incident in 2012 the heavily damaged the vessel was repaired and subsequently transformed into a modern eco-ship. The aim of the modifications to the original design was to reduce fuel consumption and to make the vessel more efficient and economic overall. By analyzing vessel performance and through the cooperation with partners, REEDEREI NSB was able to create an extensive eco- design-package. The vessel is the ultimate Eco Phoenix.
5. Rope Leads to Prosecution
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has prosecuted UK based company, Lombard Corporate Finance Limited, the owners of UK flagged car carrier, "Morning Midas", following a pollution incident in Port Phillips Heads in August last year. Lombard Corporate Finance Limited was convicted, fined $5000 and ordered to pay costs after it was found guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday, July 18, of contravening section 26F (3) of the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983. The charges relate to a collision between the pilot launch "Wyuna III" and a mooring line discarded by "Morning Midas".
6. Owners Sentenced for Financial Misconduct
Two German shipowners have been given suspended sentences with payment conditions imposed, after a court ruled that they had colluded with a shipyard to the detriment of investors. The owners were found to be in breach of fiduciary duty to KG investors when ordering a series of new anchor handling supply tugs from a German shipyard. Michael Albrecht and Klaus-Dieter Mayer, former owners of prominent German towage contractor Harms Bergung, failed to disclose the calculation of remuneration received for design, building supervision and management services rendered. The owner stress their innocence and will appeal the verdict.
7. Rotterdam On Slow Rise
The port of Rotterdam achieved steady results in the first half of the year. Total throughput increased by 0.6% compared to the first half of 2013. The throughput of crude oil increased by 3.3% while that of mineral oil products decreased by 13.5%. The throughput of coal grew by 9.5%, while ore throughput stayed virtually the same. Container throughput, measured in tonnes, increased by 2.7% or 1.9% when measured in TEUs. Throughput saw a small decrease of 0.2% in the first quarter, but was slightly positive in the second quarter, causing throughput in the first half of the year to increase by 0.6%.
8. New Technology to Detect Hazards
Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the world’s largest shipbuilder, has developed a new technology to ensure safe and optimum navigation of ships. The new system, Hyundai Intelligent Collision Avoidance Support System (HiCASS), searches the optimum sea routes and prevents collision by automatically detecting potential obstacles such as ships and reefs within 50km. The enhanced accuracy of the system also enables ships to identify hazards based on the ship type, weather conditions, waves and wind. The HiCASS can be installed along with voyage systems such ARPA, AIS and Electronic Chart System (ECS).
9. Ireland Signs Up for MLC
Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, has announced the ratification by Ireland of the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC), which sets standards for working and living conditions for seafarers. From July 21, 2015, Ireland will be a party to the Convention and will implement the requirements contained therein, both for Irish-flagged ships and for international ships calling at Irish ports. In the meantime, work is progressing on the inspection and certification of Irish ships in preparation for entry into force of the Convention for Ireland.
10. Ethane Another Fuel of the Future
Ocean Yield ASA, the Oslo-based shipowner, has placed orders for three LEGCs (Liquefied Ethylene Gas Carriers) of 36,000 cbm capacity, to be built at Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering, China. Each will be powered by a single MAN B&W ME-GI low-speed, dual-fuel engine. The engines will run on ethane, which ethylene carriers are also equipped to transport, and represents the first time ethane has been used as fuel to propel an oceangoing vessel. Ethane was chosen as fuel, in preference to HFO, due to its more competitive pricing as well as the significantly shorter bunkering time it entails. As a fuel, its emissions profile is also superior.
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