Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 15/08/2014
1. Tanker Owners Confident of Growth
Owners of large tankers may still have been losing money but confidence appears to be growing. Increased earnings in the second quarter and further increases at the start of the third quarter underpin the better news story. While VLCC earnings have yet to see the benefit, hovering just above $20,000 a day, suezmax and aframax spot market earnings in the third quarter to date are at their highest for Q3 since 2008. Teekay Tankers ceo, Kevin McKay, believes growth will come based on, “stronger oil demand, limited tanker fleet growth and improving global economic conditions".
2. Call for Limit on Ballast Management
Denmark will lobby for shortsea shipping to be exempt from the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention at IMO’s next Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in October. The Danish Shipping Association (DSA), Danish Maritime Authority, Danish Nature Agency and Interferry approached IMO over possible exemptions, arguing that for short-sea operators – citing a 4 km ferry route between Helsingør in Denmark and Helsingborg in Sweden by way of example – to be forced to install expensive BWM systems designed for inter-continental shipping is “meaningless”.
3. Slight SE Asian Piracy Improvement
The number of piracy and armed robbery related incidents in Asia has shown a marginal decline in July but concerns remain due to siphoning of fuel or oil from two ships, an anti-piracy watchdog, ReCAAP, said Thursday. Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia said ships anchoring outside port limits to avoid port dues are particularly vulnerable to attack and need to exercise greater caution. The number of incidents declined to 14 last month from 21 in June and close to half of these were petty thefts, ReCAAP said in its monthly report. Half of the incidents occurred in South China Sea.
4. Struggling Owner Narrows Losses
Struggling Danish shipowner Torm has narrowed its second quarter loss to $22.8m from $30.1m in 2013 as its fleet shrinks and revenues tumble. The group’s current owned fleet of 45 vessels is around a third smaller than the 67 ships the company had at the same point in 2013. The contraction was caused by Torm’s lenders exercising the options they were granted in the company’s restructuring to force the sale of vessels. Private equity form Oaktree Capital snapped up five MRs from Torm in April 2013, four MRs in November 2013 and 13 product tankers in April this year when Danish Ship Finance triggered a sell off.
5. Super Strength Steel for Shipping
A Mitsui O.S.K. Lines bulk carrier is the first vessel to adopt NSafe-Hull, a highly ductile steel plate for shipbuilding with improved collision safety. NSafe-Hull was developed by Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal (NSSMS) and adopted through a collaboration between NSSMS, Imabari Shipbuilding and the National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI). NSafe-Hull has excellent ductility while maintaining the workability of conventional steels, which substantially improves ship’s collision safety. NSSMC developed NSafe-Hull by designing its chemical composition and then controlling its microstructure at a crystalline scale.
6. Oh Pollux…We Hit A Wind Farm
The UK’s Liverpool Coastguard is currently coordinating the recovery of a ship damaged following a collision with a wind turbine pile at Walney Wind Farm, off Barrow-in-Furness. The Liverpool Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) received a call reporting that the standby safety vessel, "OMS Pollux", had collided with a pile supporting a turbine. The vessel has since been leaking marine gas oil (diesel). The Danish-registered vessel, with a crew of around 18 on board, remains afloat and there are no reported injuries. OMS Pollux has moved under its own power to its current location north of the Port of Liverpool limits.
7. Bill to Improve Shoreleave Access
A Bill to amend the US Immigration and Nationality Act to extend the period of time for which a conditional permit to land temporarily may be granted to an alien crewman is going through the motions. Alas even if passed, the bill does little until U.S. ports and immigration personnel ease the restrictions on even a few hours of crew liberty. The whole issue of seafarers and shoreleave in the States is a thorny issue and one which needs remedy – treating the crews of the vessels which bring so much to the Nation, and who make exports possible as criminals does nothing but deny good people their freedom.
8. Cunard’s Queen Vicky Feeling Dickie
Cunard’s Queen Victoria is cancelling two January cruises due to a problem with one of its propulsion units. While the ship is under repair at the Blohm & Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, it will also receive a multi-million dollar makeover. "The timing of Queen Victoria’s dry dock is being brought forward, as a bearing on one of the ship’s propulsion units will need replacing prior to her previously scheduled dry dock in December 2015," the ship’s owner, Cunard Line says in a statement. "This has no impact on the safety of the ship, but it is timely for the bearing to be replaced prior to the ship’s Round World Cruise beginning 20 January 2015."
9. EU Looks at Cruise Ship Safety
The three-year LYNCEUS project, which ends in early 2015, is aiming at illustrating how low-power wireless technologies can help localise and track people onboard ships, providing essential information in cases of evacuation, and improve overboard search and rescue. The aim is to revolutionise current emergency management and ship evacuation practice. “We have developed innovative wireless tags, which can be embedded into life jackets, so the location of people within the ship can be easily pinpointed,” said Dr. Anastasis Kounoudes, technical leader and CEO of SignalGeneriX, one of the project partners.
10. Pressure on Shipping for Sustainability
Last month the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) submitted seventeen SDGs to the UN General Assembly. The SDGs will form the basis for the global sustainable development agenda from 2015 through 2030. One of these goals – the Ocean SDG – aims to "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development". Ocean industries are encouraged to send comments about the Ocean SDG to the WOC by 29 August to ensure ocean business community input to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) submission to the UN on the draft SDGs.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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