Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 31/07/2014
1. Deadly Virus Warning for Shipping
As the fears over the spread of the Ebola Virus in West Africa continue, marine insurers say clients have to ensure their crews take every precaution. P&I Clubs have issued warnings to shipowners over the risk of Ebola and told members crews need to be made fully aware of the risks they face. Standard Club is advising all of Members who trade in West Africa to be well aware of the current guidance issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). Owners should monitor the health and wellbeing of their crews, and it is "prudent" to advise crews to remain aboard vessels whilst in ports in certain WAF countries in order to reduce the risk.
2. Landmark US Crude Export
A tanker has loaded a cargo of crude oil, the first such export from the United States since the easing of a 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude exports. Westport Petroleum Inc, the US-based shipping arm of Japanese trader Mitsui & Co, chartered the Panamax "BW Zambesi" for the voyage. The tanker, owned by BW Group, docked at the Galveston terminal in Texas to load just over 400,000 barrels of condensate and is expected to arrive in Asia in early September, one source said. The Crude Oil Export Ban was under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act 1975 after the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo to conserve US resources.
3. Finger Pointing by Nigeria
The Nigerian Navy has blamed foreigners for most of the piracy, illegal bunkering and other sea crimes committed in the nation’s maritime domain. Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command (WNC) Rear Admiral Sanmi Alade said, "Most of criminality in our waters are carried out by foreigners and not Nigerians. The era when the navy had challenges of platforms will soon be over because we will take delivery of some ships before the end of the year and command our waterways". Adding, "We will take full command once again and there will be no need for private security here and there because our water is not private."
4. P&I Cargo Classification Warning
The Japan P&I Club has cautioned its owners against transporting nickel ore cargoes that are deliberately classified as iron ore to evade the Indonesian government’s export restrictions. In a circular to its members, the Japan P&I Club said: "The club has been advised of two cargoes of nickel ore that were allegedly being prepared for shipment under the bulk cargo shipping name of iron ore. In an attempt to circumvent the current ban on nickel ore exports in Indonesia and in contravention of the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, these two cargoes were being offered for shipment as iron ore.
5. Australian Port Faces Labour Lockout
DP World Australia said today it would lock out dock workers at its Fremantle terminal indefinitely and subcontract their work to rival stevedore Asciano. The statement follows the announcement of a four-hour stoppage on Thursday by the union for the terminal’s dockers. Adrian Evans, Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), described DP World’s as an extraordinary overreaction. “We notified the company that we would take limited action to minimise impact on DP World’s clients but they have responded irresponsibly,” he said in a statement. The union and company have been bogged down in contract negotiations for six months.
6. Giving Nigeria a Helping Hand
THE British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Pocock, has said his government was ready to support Nigeria in providing security in the Gulf of Guinea. Pocock made the statement at a news conference on board “HMS IRON DUKE”, a visiting Royal Navy War Ship. "Britain is a friend to Nigeria and is ready to support Nigeria in ensuring that activities of piracy and other illegal activities in the Gulf of Guinea are tackled. The security of Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea matters profoundly to the British Government", he said. Pocock also restated his government’s commitment to building capacity of the Nigerian Navy.
7. Seafarer Suspected Killed by Pirates
A Singaporean man on board an oil tanker is missing after the Kiribati-flagged vessel was hijacked by 10 heavily armed pirates off the coast of Ghana early Saturday morning. The whereabouts of the 3,232-tonne tanker "MT Hai Soon 6" and its 21-man crew are unknown after the vessel disappeared from maritime radars. The vessel, which was supplying oil to barges and ships off the coast of West Africa, is owned by Singapore shipping firm Hai Soon International. It was said to be sailing in the Gulf of Guinea when it was hijacked about 46 nautical miles south of Anloga, Ghana.
8. Concordia Captain Maintains Decisions were Right
The former captain of the Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino, said the successful transfer of the stricken ship to Genoa shows he made the right decision about where to leave the ship when it hit rocks near the island of Giglio. Mr Schettino is on trial on criminal charges, including multiple manslaughter, causing an environmental disaster and abandoning ship on the night of the disaster that claimed 32 lives in January 2012. He has denied the charges but faces 20 years in prison if found guilty. He claims the evidence has strengthened his conviction of having "made the right decision to leave it resting on the seabed," Mr Schettino said.
9. Major Loan Bulk Deal Tied Up
Scorpio Bulkers of Monaco has firmed up a $540m loan facility that will be used to finance some of its newbuildings. In the New York-quoted operator’s second-quarter earnings report it said the bankroll is backed by two “leading European financial institutions”. The company noted the cash will be used to fund up to 55% of the contract price of newbuildings that are due for delivery in 2015 and 2016. Scorpio indicated that the projects to which the proceeds will be applied include six ultramaxes, nine kamsarmaxes and nine capesizes. The operator said the loan facility follows $437.1m worth of commitments that were sealed this month and last.
10. Looking to Gas Partnerships
In twin moves, the John Hadjipateras-led Dorian LPG has opened the door to the Chinese gas market and is partnering with Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) to create a pool with the world’s leading eco-VLGC fleet. In striking a deal with China’s HNA Logistics Group, the NYSE-listed Dorian and its new partner will jointly explore opportunities in the LPG market. Hadjipateras, chairman, president and ceo of Dorian said: “We are very pleased to form a strategic relationship with HNA Logistics. Their unique presence in the Chinese market creates opportunities to develop energy related transportation, finance, infrastructure and distribution". http://goo.gl/EgXKGi
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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