Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 08/04/2015
1. Gearing Up For Massive Future
China Cosco Holdings Co. is gearing up to order at least ten 19,000 TEU containerships, an investment worth around USD 1.4 billion, the Wall Street Journal writes citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter. The order is expected to be placed by the end of May at a Chinese shipyard, which is being selected at the moment. The ships are intended to be deployed in the Asia-to-Europe trade loop. The announcement comes on the back of several 20,000 TEU containership orders placed by shipping majors over the recent period as they up the ante in container trade. Cosco’s plans seem to have been triggered by growing competition.
2. Shell Acts Against Greenpeace
Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it has filed a complaint in federal court in Alaska seeking an order to remove Greenpeace activists who climbed aboard an oil rig in the Pacific Ocean bound for the Arctic on Monday in a protest against Arctic drilling. The environmental group said in a statement its team would occupy the underside of the main deck of the Polar Pioneer, which is under contract to Shell, and plans to unfurl a banner with the names of millions of people opposed to Arctic drilling. The group said the activists would not interfere with the vessel’s navigation. "we’re here to highlight…Shell is going to the Arctic to drill for oil" an activist said.
3. Sulphur Fines Finally Hit
An unnamed ship management company has been fined $283,500 by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) for breaching low-sulfur fuel switching regulations, the International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) reports. The ship in question was said to have been stopped by an inspector in July 2011, who found that the the vessel had failed to switch the main engine, auxiliary engines, and auxiliary boilers to low-sulfur fuel as per revised 2009 California clean air regulations. Further inspection also determined that the vessel had called at California ports 17 times between 2009 an 2011 without making the required switchovers.
4. Panama Administrator Faces Corruption Charges
The former administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) Roberto Linares and several of his team, as well as the company Orion Maritime Training Centre are facing a complaint before anti-corruption prosecutors in Panama. The complaint is for allegedly committing multiple offenses against the public administration, collective security and electronic media legal security that Linares may have committed causing prejudice against the AMP. The complaint was presented 30 January 2015. Audits made by the AMP present administration have revealed alleged irregularities in the issuance by Orion Maritime Trading Centre of officers’ carnets. http://goo.gl/p0mCh3
5. Shipowners Address UN on Regulation
In New York today, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) represented global shipowners at a United Nations meeting, having been invited to speak as a panellist as part of the UN Inter Consultative Process on the Law of Sea. The opportunity was taken by ICS to highlight the extent to which shipping is very effectively regulated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) in order to deliver the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. ICS sees benefit in the designation of High Seas protected areas, to address issues such as unregulated fishing, but it feels already regulated.
6. Nautilus Concerns on Confined Spaces
The hold of a cargo ship is not the place to be for anyone suffering claustrophobia but a warning comes this week from Nautilus, the trade union and professional organisation for maritime professionals at sea and ashore, regarding the dangers of working in the confines of a freighter where oxygen can be in very short supply. Following two recent deaths the union is also calling for improvements to secure a much better standard of risk assessments, moving away from a generic assessment to one that addresses particular hazards or design features associated with each individual enclosed space.
7. Abandoned Seafarers Owed Big Time
A group of sailors has been stranded aboard an oil tanker for months after the shipping company they work for racked up more than $300,000 in debt. Mongolian vessel "MT Surya Kuber" has been banned from leaving the country because its Singapore-based owner 7Seas Ship Management has not paid Asry and Kanoo Shipping more than $220,000, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication. It also owes around $118, 000 to its 16-member crew who claim they have not been paid since October. Asry took legal action against the shipping company and its Indian owners, and the seizure of the vessel was ordered.
8. Coral Reef Damages Delay
Fines imposed on ships that have damaged coral reefs in the Maldives have not been paid, an audit has revealed. The worst offender identified by government auditors is the then owner of fish transporter Emerald Reefer, which damaged part of the Muli Kolhu reef near Addu in November 2011. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that the reef was destroyed and unlikely to recover. The reefs are vital for the country’s two main industries, fishing and tourism, and also protect the low-lying islands from storm surges. The EPA levies a fine of USD5,560 for every square metre of coral affected.
9. Talking Ballast in Athens
At a summit on ballast water management last week in Athens the discussions can be summed up in four words, "certainty, challenge, cost, confusion". Held by the influential Greek Marine Technical Manager Association, Martecma, the summit, left little doubt there are many challenges ahead. Chairman, Stavros Hatzigrigoris, noted “all engaged in the BWM exercise, from ship operators through class societies, flag administrations to equipment vendors, are certain BWM is here, it poses great challenges, it is costly and it is causing confusion”.
10. Biggest Ships to be Built in Philippines
Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction (HHIC)-Phil’s Subic Shipyard has won the contract to build the world’s largest container vessels. The Korean shipbuilder in the Philippines announced that it signed a contract to build three 20,600 TEU container ships with CMA CGM, the biggest shipping company in France. This ultra-large container vessel measuring 400m in length, 59m in breadth and 33m in depth is capable of carrying 20,600 20ft containers. A deck alone is as large as four football fields. If the loaded containers are lined in series, they might reach up to Hoengseong, Gangwon-do from Seoul (126km).
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