Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/05/2015
1. MOL Fleet Tops Rich List
Maritime CEO’s second annual Rich List. The survey, held in association with online pricing platform VesselsValue.com, identifies the world’s most valuable owned fleets. Jumping four places into top spot this year was Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines, knocking Denmark’s AP Moller-Maersk into second spot. The report identifies fleet values, numbers and total deadweights for the world’s top 50 shipowners including newbuilds. It also highlights year-on-year changes in the fleets. Unsurprisingly, this year’s biggest falls have been in dry bulk fleets, while those in the tanker trades have enjoyed quite an appreciation.
2. Kra Canal to Circumvent Malacca
Media reports had suggested China and Thailand had signed an MoU in Guangzhou last Friday for the construction of Kra Canal project, which is expected to take 10 years to complete with an investment of at least $28bn . However, the Chinese government said today it was not behind the plans, saying it was private Chinese money involved. The 26 m deep and less than 100 km long canal will be the largest in Asia upon completion of the project. The canal will link the South China Sea directly with the Andaman Sea cutting down the current route by at least 1,200 km, meaning ships will no longer have to pass through the Strait of Malacca.
3. Asian Owners Express Siphoning Concerns
The 24th Annual meeting of the Asian Shipowners’ Forum (ASF) was held in Jeju, South Korea this week. The forum highlighted the rising fuel siphoning incidents on Asian waters but nonetheless raised concerns that some reports may have unduly overstated the severity of incidents in regional waters. ASF delegates advised that timely and accurate reports are helpful to the industry and appreciate efforts by regional states and intergovernmental bodies such as the ReCAAP ISC in combating the threat of maritime crime in the region.
4. Cruise Liner Grounds in Bermuda
A Norwegian Cruise Line ship heading to Boston with nearly 3,500 passengers and crew has been freed about 6 hours after it ran aground while leaving Bermuda, officials said. Small boats, divers and tug boats circled the liner "Norwegian Dawn" for hours before high tide helped push it off the reef and into deeper water, where the ship dropped anchor for the night, the company said in a statement. “All guests and crew are safe and there were absolutely no injuries,” cruise officials said. The ship ran aground after a temporary malfunction in its steering system forced it slightly off course, the company said.
5. Big Sale of Mega Bulkers
Brazilian miner Vale has sold four Valemax VLOCs to Cosco, and has moved forward on a plan to sell four units to China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES). Vale announced on Tuesday it had concluded the deal with Cosco to sell four 400,000 dwt vessels valued at $445m, it also signed an expanded cooperation agreement with CMES. The Brazilian mining giant said the sale of the VLOCs to Cosco is related to a previously disclosed agreement signed with Cosco in September 2014. In late-April this year, Cosco’s board of directors approved the cooperation framework with Vale.
6. Owners Dismayed by US Ballast Stance
ICS has expressed “dismay” at the United States’ decision to deny the IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) convention legitimacy in its own waters. Following the conclusion of the Meeting of the Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 68 last week, the ICS has assured its members that they will not be unduly penalised for installing first generation BWM systems on their vessels. ICS also expressed confidence that the IMO’s type-approval process will be sufficiently toughened-up to ensure systems do not fall foul of Port State Control (PSC) inspections.
7. Panama Ratifies Wreck Convention
Panama’s National Assembly has ratified the Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention [WREC] by approving Law 26 of 4 May 2015. Panama was one of the largest Ship Registries that had not ratified WREC when it entered force on 14 April this year. The convention requires all ships over 300gt (including fishing vessels and commercials yachts) to have in place insurance to cover the location, marking and removal of a wreck, deemed to be a hazard in the convention area of states that are party to the convention. It is also required, under the principal of no more favourable treatment that all ships carry insurance and Wreck Removal certificates.
8. Crew and Ships Left to Rot
Four years ago, the plight of Bangladeshi vessel Banga Biraj and its 15 crew came to national attention. The ship’s owners had abandoned the ship and crew in Port Klang following an accident in Northport which resulted in a messy compensation tussle. The sailors were found starving and some emaciated, following which the Bangladesh High Commission and well-wishers had come to their aid. While the men have been taken care of, this vessel is still an island prison as the legal issues surrounding the Banga Biraj play out. To make matters worse, today it is not one, but two ships that are rusting away in the busy waterways off Port Klang.
9. Suez Bunker Prices Surge
Bunker fuel prices for 380 and 180 CST in Suez surged Monday as supplies dwindled, leaving only an old cargo of fuel pricing around its delivery date of August 2014. “There’s no availability, only an old cargo of fuel and no news when the next avails [will arrive],” one trader said. Delivered 380 CST prices in Suez soared, rising $241 to $638.50/mt as a result. “There’s only an old cargo from August 2014…380 CST is indicated at $638/mt,” a bunker supplier at the port said. In late March, prices spiked about $250/mt to $640.50/mt in Suez due to tight availability and a dearth of barges to deliver material, but fell just as quickly.
10. Polar Code and Sensitive Sea Developments
The IMO’s environmental committee (MEPC) has adopted the environmental requirements of the Polar Code and associated MARPOL amendments to make the Code mandatory; adopted amendments to MARPOL related to tanks for oil residues; designated an extension to the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA); and furthered its work on implementation of air pollution and energy efficiency measures and the Ballast Water Management Convention. A ballast water roadmap was agreed, and technological developments relevant to Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) regulations were discussed.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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