Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/01/2015
1. Insurers Flag Cargo Concerns
P&I insurers are flagging concern over bauxite cargo liquefaction following the sinking of the Bulk Jupiter off Vietnam with the loss of 18 seafarers onboard. In a circular the American Club noted the Bulk Jupiter had been carrying a cargo of bauxite from Kuantan in Malaysia when it capsized and sank off Vung Tau in Vietnam. “Although it is at present not possible to identify a specific cause, the circumstances, at least as presently understood, are similar to those of previous cases involving cargo liquefaction,” the club said. Britannia P&I, listed as the P&I insurers for the Bulk Jupiter, has called on members to notify them of bauxite cargoes.
2. Counting Cost of Ro-Ro Grounding
Jaguar Land Rover said on Tuesday it was awaiting word on the fate of 1,200 luxury vehicles aboard a 51,000-tonne car transporter ship that has run aground in the English Channel. Salvage experts are working around the clock to right the Hoegh Osaka, which has been stuck on a sandbank off the south coast of England since Saturday. Range Rovers and other Jaguar Land Rover models accounting for most of the 1,400 vehicles aboard are covered by insurance, said a spokesman for the British carmaker, owned by India’s Tata Motors Ltd. “We’re still evaluating what has happened,” the spokesman said.
3. New Panama Canal Toll Structure
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has proposed for a new toll structure after more than a year of consultations industry stakeholders. The proposed restructuring calls for each segment to be priced based upon different units of measurement and modifying pricing for all Canal segments. The ACP explains, for example, containers will be measured and priced on TEUs; dry bulkers will be based on deadweight tonnage capacity and metric tons of cargo; passenger vessels will be based on berths; LNG will be based on cubic meters and tankers will be measured and priced on Panama Canal tons and metric tons.
4. Damaged Tanker Heading Home
The damaged Greek tanker that came under air attack in Libya on Sunday afternoon was on its way back to Piraeus in Greece today with the bodies of the two seafarers who died in the attack. The 28,610 dwt Araevo left Libyan waters early this morning and is expected to arrive in Greece towards midday tomorrow if weather conditions permit. Aegean Shipping Management’s Elias Syrros told the media that the vessel was travelling at reduced speed but under its own power and without assistance. The damage, apparently inflicted by a rocket explosion, was to the forward part of its main deck, as well as to piping and fittings, he said.
5. Sunken Cemfjord Wreck Located
The wreck of sunken cement carrier Cemfjord has been located by sonar, not far from where it was spotted capsized in the Pentland Firth off the North of Scotland. According to a spokesman for Brise Hamburg, the ship appears to be inverted on the sea bed, at a depth of around 70 m. Lighthouse tender Pharos located the wreck using its sonar equipment. The next step in understanding the incident will be to get a better picture of the vessel, which will most likely involved the use of a submersible remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The Cemfjord underwent a five-year special survey in drydock on 13 December 2014 and was classed by DNV GL.
6. Seafarer Families to Receive Government Support
The families of Filipino seafarers who died in the sea mishap in Vietnam will receive all appropriate government assistance, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Tuesday. "They will also receive all the benefits due them in accordance with their employment contracts and the provisions of the collective bargaining agreements covering the shipowners and the Associated Marine Officers and Seafarers Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) of which the seafarers are members," said DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz. The ill-fated MV Bulk Jupiter had an all-Filipino crew on board when it capsized.
7. Critical Time for Ro-Ro Refloat
The next 24 hours are "critical" in the bid to refloat the Hoegh Osaka , which ran aground in the Solent off the coast of the Isle of Wight late on Saturday. The vessel is currently listing at 45 degrees on Bramble Bank. The salvage master tasked with refloating the Costa Concordia cruise liner, Capt Nicholas Sloane, said salvors face a "critical situation". He said the next 24 hours are "crucial for the local conditions and the wash". "The main thing is to stabilise and bring her upright," he said. "The next 24 hours are critical to see the behaviour of the sandbanks, whether the sand migrates away from the starboard side or the port side.
8. Migrant Ghost Ship Trend to Continue
The trend for so-called "ghost ships" taking migrants across the Mediterranean for up to $6,000 at a time shows no sign of letting up, according to the International Organization for Migration. Joel Millman, who is Spokesman for the agency in Geneva, said that IOM staff have now spoken to migrants rescued from two smugglers’ ships bound for the Italian coastline over the New Year. At a press briefing in Geneva, the IOM spokesman said smugglers were profiting from the "reliable stream" of thousands of customers fleeing Syria every month. They could make at least $3 million per crossing, Willman added.
9. Planning to Minimise Future Safety Threats
The Philippine government will come up with action plan to prevent or minimize future accidents involving Filipino seafarers, a senior government official said today. Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said she directed Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Administrator Hans Cacdac to convene a meeting of stakeholders to discuss the recent incident in Vietnam where cargo vessel MV Bulk Jupiter manned by all Filipinos sank. "The MITC should also come up with a ready mechanism on effective coordination with manning agents and shipowners," Baldoz said.
10. No New Year fanfare for Shipbreakers
The New Year did not mark any fanfare for shipbreakers in South Asia as prices remain depressed amid a continuing inflow of Chinese billets and a weak Indian rupee. In India, prices of bulkers plummeted to $400/lt ldt last week compared to $440/lt ldt in November 2014, while tanker prices fell from $470/lt ldt to $430/lt ldt. Dubai-based cash buyer Global Marketing Systems said, "Opportunistic end buyers have been open to acquire at far lower rates than is reasonable. Over in Bangladesh, prices are the same for bulkers, but $5 lower for tankers. In Pakistan, prices average $405/lt ldt for bulkers and $430/lt ldt for tankers.
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