Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 02/01/2015
The first Seacurus daily bulletin of 2015 – we wish you a very happy, safe and prosperous new year.
1. More Maritime Migrant Concern
The Italian coast guard says a merchant ship with at least 400 migrants on board is heading for the Italian coast. The "Ezadeen", sailing under the flag of Sierra Leone, has no crew on board and has lost power in rough seas off the south-east of Italy. The Icelandic coast guard confirmed to the BBC that one of its vessels was assisting in efforts to board the ship. The "Ezadeen" is just the latest uncrewed ship full of would-be migrants to be left to drift to its fate in the Mediterranean Sea. Almost 1,000 migrants were rescued from another ship found abandoned without any crew earlier in the week.
2. IMO Push on Ferry Safety
IMO secretary-general Koji Sekimizu says action must be taken to improve the safety standards on passenger ferries following the fatal fire on the Norman Atlantic. In a message to the industry Sekimizu said: "2014 will be remembered as another year of very serious maritime casualties involving passenger ships, with the tragedy of Sewol and the fire aboard the "Norman Atlantic". IMO must take action to investigate these maritime accidents and improve safety standards of passenger ships.” “In this context, I urge IMO member governments to review the current level of safety standards of passenger ships at the Maritime Safety Committee".
3. Indonesia Steps up on Security
Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has emphasized the importance of securing the Malacca Strait not only from illegal fishing but also from crime and environmental damage. According to Ryamizard, there are several actual issues related to the strait that should be addressed immediately.“We don’t want the [currently low security presence] in the Malacca strait to invite more pirates and as it is Indonesia has become the country that is expected to clean the strait of oil spills,” the minister said and the Indonesian Navy has acknowledged the existence of criminals, drug smugglers and illegal migration in the Malacca Strait. http://goo.gl/bxMOxF
4. Nigerian Aims High on Seafarers
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, says the country will in no distant time surpass the countries that constitute the Asian Tigers and the Republic of Philippines in terms of export of seafarers barring any disruption in the current scheme of things. The Philippines, with a population of about 77 million people accounts for over 30 per cent of global seafarers requirement by exporting over 300, 000 seafarers from which she earns over $6 billion annually, which is repatriated annually to the Philippines local economy with attendant chains of multiplier effects on the economy. Nigerian intends to tap into this market.
5. New Ships Comply But Could be Better
The ships being churned out today seem to ensure that regulations regarding living space are met but make little, if any, consideration to making a pleasant working and living environment. The ubiquitous formica and other ‘wipe clean’ surfaces, combined with the ‘off white’ panels which seem to be present in every accommodation block are certainly user friendly in terms of ease of maintenance and keeping them clean, but they are not really an environment you want to hang around in. Providing an environment where people want to spend time and with "nice" things onboard, such as art and books is important too.
6. Gas Ship Deliveries Set to Rise
The deliveries of very large gas carriers (VLGCs) are expected to set new records this year and in 2016. VLGCs are the workhorses of the seaborne LPG trade, accounting for two-thirds of shipped volumes. IHS Maritime’s Sea-web.com data show that 35 VLGCs are expected to hit the water this year, while another 48 VLGCs would be delivered in 2016. The delivery figures would exceed the previous high of 27 VLGCs delivered in 2008. Italian shipbroker Banchero Costa has cautioned that the huge deliveries of ships in the following two years could bring freight rates down, they have fallen to over $64/tonne on slower LPG trading.
7. Grounding Claims Lives
18 seafarers survived while another died in a ship grounding incident off the Philippines. The casualty was identified as German Atay, quartermaster of "M/Tug Benny". An investigation revealed that "M/Tug Benny" and its towing barge "Brian" took shelter as Tropical Depression Seniang battered the Visayas region. Both vessels where drifted, however, by strong winds and big waves towards the shoreline. 12 crew members of Barge Brian were able to swim towards the shoreline while the remaining seven crew of M/Tug Benny transferred to the barge waiting for rescue.
8. Singapore Collision and Spill
A tanker and a bulker carrier have collided in Singapore waters about 11 nm northeast of Pedra Branca resulting in an oil spill. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said the Liberian-registered tanker "Alyarmouk" collided with the Singapore-registered bulker "Sinar Kapaus" resulting in damage to one of the tanker’s cargo tanks and the “spillage of some crude oil”. MPA said it had sent a helicopter to assess the situation and oil spill response resources had been activated. The size of the spill was not given. There were no reports of injuries onboard either vessel.
9. Chasing the OW Problems to Source
The trustees for failed fuel supplier OW Bunker are standing by its view that OW Bunker management was fully aware of large lines of credit extended by Singaporean subsidiary Dynamic Oil Trading (DOT), calling for five management heads to be liable for KR654 million ($106.6 million) in damages, Danish press reports.
A 10-page document sent by special curator Søren Halling-Overgaard named OW Bunker CEO Jim Pedersen, CFO Morten Skou, Director Götz Dieter Lehsten, along with DOT CEO Lars Møller and CFO Kimmie Goh as being fully cognizant of the credit that was being given.
10. New Panama Pacific Port
The Panama Canal Board of Directors this week formally approved the development and construction of a transshipment port in Panama’s Corozal region. Upon completion, the port will have the capacity to handle more than five million TEUs within a 120-hectare area at the Canal’s entrance to the Pacific. The project is now awaiting the final step for approval from Panama’s National Assembly. The two-phased port project will include the construction of a 2,081-linear-meter-dock, a container yard, offices and warehouse facilities within a 120-hectare area owned by the Panama Canal.
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