Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/04/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/04/2015


1. Libya Calls Will Mean Security Conditions

Beginning April 24, ships entering the U.S. after visiting ports in Libya as one of their last five ports of call will be subject to strict conditions of entry, a U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Advisory stated on Monday. The USCG has determined that Libya is not maintaining sufficient anti-terrorism measures at all of its ports, and the country has become the 17th to fall under a 2012 policy that enforces restrictions on a country’s ports that present significant risk of “introducing instruments of terror into international maritime commerce.” According to the USCG, Libya’s legal regime, designated authority oversight, access control and cargo are all deficient.


2. Diversions Away from Yemen

Four LNG carriers have been diverted from Yemen after the country closed its LNG production following civil unrest. "Yemen LNG declared force majeure on the 6.7 million tonnes/annum (mtpa) Balhaf LNG plant yesterday. All production has been stopped and personnel have been evacuated," said Nicolay Dyvik, Oyvind Berle and Petter Haugen, shipping analysts at DNB Markets. "At least four LNG tankers have been diverted from Balhaf’s LNG plant last days, according to Argus LNG, hence volume impact is already in the market. Removing 2.8% of volumes on fairly long haul legs (most volumes are on long term contracts to Asia).



3. Shipping Finally Tackles Cyber Threats

It has been announced that the Round Table of international shipping associations (RT) comprising BIMCO, ICS, Intercargo and INTERTANKO are developing standards and guidelines to address the major cyber security issues faced by the shipping industry. Protection against malicious attacks on computer based systems onboard ships is now hitting the top of the agenda for shipping organisations in all corners of the world. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has already heard calls for action and the insurance industry repeatedly lists the issue as one for concern. The Round Table has made a submission to the IMO also.



4. Bulker Breaks Free and Collides

A Greek bulker that broke free of its moorings on the Mississippi River in Louisiana has been arrested by US marshals. The Bariba Group-owned, 81,434 dwt bulker Privocean was arrested on 13 April after it damaged a tanker, towing vessels, and an oil dock. Officials are now seeking damages of approximately USD40 million.

Roughly USD10 million is being sought to cover damages to the Geden Lines-owned, 116,014 dwt tanker Bravo, which was damaged on 6 April when Privocean broke free of its moorings, crossed the river, and struck the tanker.



6. Italian Owner Files for Protection

Italian owner Rizzo Bottiglieri-De Carlini Armatori (RBDA) has filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in Houston, Texas. The mixed fleet operator, which owns 16 bulkers and tankers, sought court protection in Italy on 3 February. The US filing on 8 April is intended as an ancillary asset shield to complement primary protection under Italian bankruptcy law. RBDA noted in its court filings that two of its bulkers – RBD Italia and Maria Cristian Rizzo – were targeted with arrest warrants after court filings by ING bank last month. Those cases were related to the OW Bunker insolvency.


7. Oil Firms Call for Nigerian Action

Nigerian President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, faced with low oil prices, will need to crack down on crude theft from pipelines to shore up government revenue and help producers, an industry executive said. “The key for me in the first 30 days of government is to put a blitz around oil theft like they would on Boko Haram,” Kola Karim, chief executive officer of Shoreline Natural Resources Ltd., said in an April 10 phone interview from London. “The government needs to stop the hemorrhage.” Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, loses an estimated 300,000 barrels a day to criminal gangs that tap crude from pipelines.



8. Chemical Tanker Recovery May be Delayed

The long-awaited recovery for chemical freight rates might only be seen in 2016 at the earliest. Despite shipowners hoping for a sustained recovery since 2010, the near-term fundamentals are not in favour of the sector, said Italian shipbroker Banchero Costa. Despite hopes for a turnaround, 2014 was another difficult year for the chemical tanker sector, even though earnings and asset values did marginally improve from the previous year. There are about 2,700 chemical tankers amounting to 34.9 million dwt in the in-service fleet. The size of the tankers range from 1,000-40,000 dwt. About 40% of the fleet has stainless steel tanks.



9. Class Recognises Solar Power Solutions

Eco Marine Power (EMP) has come out with an announcement that ClassNK has granted it with its acceptance for the Aquarius Marine Solar Power solution which is to be integrated onboard classed vessels. This achievement marks an important step going forward for EMP and also makes it possible for an innovative renewable energy solution to take its rightful place on the shipping market scene. It is important to note that it can easily be installed along with other systems onboard various vessels. Thus EMP is now planning to go ahead and unleash two marine solar power packages.



10. Tanker Explosion Kills Yard Workers

An oil tanker exploded at the Port of Belawan, Indonesia, on 13 April, killing three shipyard workers. Indonesia-flagged Palu Sipat, owned by the national oil company PT Pertamina, was docked at the port for repairs when it caught fire and exploded at 17:00 h local time, killing three PT Waruna Nusa Sentana shipyard workers. The cause of the explosion remains unknown, as investigators were not allowed to enter the explosion site due to safety concerns. The 17,957 dwt tanker has many compartments, making it difficult for investigators to obtain safety clearance from the local authority to track down the cause of the explosion.




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